ATHENS – Tightening their relationship, Greece and Saudi Arabia struck a deal to establish a joint company that will explore linking their power grids in a plan that would carry cheaper green energy to the rest of Europe.
Greece’s Energy Ministry said the country’s Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) Saudi Arabia’s National Grid will set up a company, Saudi Greek Interconnection, reported Reuters.
That will be charged with looking into the commercial viability of the power interconnection, the ministry said in a statement, not adding why that wasn’t done before making the agreement.
Officials from the countries discussed the idea in 2022 when Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made Greece his first stop after being accused of ordering the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
IPTO and National Grid will each hold a 50 percent stake, the Greek ministry said, although it wasn’t said when the connection would be made or how it would be transferred to other countries in Europe.
About 40 percent of power is produced by renewables in Greece, which is looking to build an undersea cable linking its grid to Egypt in boosting its role in supplying cheap energy from renewables.
But Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis earlier said his New Democracy government had no choice to also for now go back to using coal-fired plants to produce electricity in the country after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Greece has also agreed with Cyprus and Israel to build the world’s longest and deepest underwater power cable to link their grids at a cost of about $900 million, although Turkey is tightening ties with Israel now too.