Cyprus’ Cabinet Gives OK for EastMed Gas Pipeline into EU


(Photo by Eurokinissi/ Tatiana Bollari, file)

Cyprus’ Cabinet has ratified a bill paving the way for the EastMed gas pipeline to carry 10 billion cubic meters annually from Israeli and Cypriot waters to Crete and then to the European Union’s gas network through Italy.

The deal to build the $7 billion undersea pipeline to carry gas from new offshore deposits was signed by Greece, Israel and Cyprus on January 2, with Cypriot Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis saying the project “has a chance to materialize,” said Kathimerini.

The necessary studies are  underway and soon the consortium will proceed with its effort to find buyers for the natural gas, he added. The bill will now be sent to Parliament for approval as well.

In April, a joint venture between Greek utility DEPA and Italy’s Edison sought to shortlist two contractors to build part of the 1,900-kilometer (1180.6 mile) underwater pipeline, said Reuters.

The countries aim to reach a final investment decision by 2022 and have the pipeline completed by 2025 to help Europe diversify its energy resources but it is being opposed by Turkey which said it’s not needed.

“The implementation of the project goes ahead despite the big turmoil that the (coronavirus) pandemic has caused to the world economy and the energy market,” Greek Energy Minister Kostis Hatzidakis said at the time.

DEPA has signed a letter of intent with Energean, a gas producer with a focus on the Eastern Mediterranean, to buy two billion cubic meters of gas annually from Energean’s gas fields off Israel via the pipeline.