TAQA eyes joining Greece-Cyprus interconnector

TAQA eyes joining 900-kilometer European interconnector

Abu Dhabi National Energy Company PJSC (TAQA) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to explore the possibility of becoming one of the shareholders in a project to develop a 900-kilometer HVDC electricity interconnection between Greece and Cyprus.

Source: TAQA

Under the terms of the MoU, TAQA will explore joining Greece’s transmission system operator (TSO) Independent Power Transmission Operation of Greece (IPTO) and the Cyprus Government as shareholders in the Great Sea Interconnector project whose construction is expected to cost approximately €1.9 billion.

A signing ceremony was held at the 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UNFCCC in Dubai, in the presence of George Papanastasiou, Cyprus Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry, Manos Manousakis, IPTO President and CEO, and Jasim Husain Thabet, TAQA’s Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director.

“TAQA is pleased to announce its involvement in another transformative project which will increase energy security and accelerate the deployment of clean energy in the Eastern Mediterranean,” said TAQA’s Jasim Husain Thabet said.

“As a low-carbon power and water champion, TAQA is committed to investing in the transmission infrastructure needed for the energy transition, enabling decarbonisation and ensuring energy security. HVDC projects are vital to connect clean energy projects to the end users, and we are ambitiously accelerating investment and growth in our infrastructure business to help our stakeholders scale up their clean energy to meet the growing demand for secure, reliable and sustainable power.”

The interconnection project between Greece and Cyprus is in an advanced stage, with feasibility studies completed, and contracts for two major engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) components reserved. In July, Nexans was awarded a €1.43 billion contract for the HVDC cables contract, while Siemens AG was appointed as the preferred bidder for the contract to build the two VSC HVDC converter stations for the project.

The project is expected to terminate Cyprus’ energy isolation, increase energy security in the Eastern Mediterranean and encourage the development and export of clean energy to both Cyprus, Greece and the rest of the EU.

“The agreement that we have signed reflects the high investor interest for the project promoted by IPTO that will be known from now on as the Great Sea Interconnector. The interconnection between Greece and Cyprus, which is the most mature segment, is entering construction phase, beginning from the subsea cable, which will be built by Nexans,” said Manos Manousakis, IPTO Chief.

“We are very much looking forward to a close and fruitful cooperation with all stakeholders in order to expedite a project of strategic importance which enhances the energy security and the green transition in the Eastern Mediterranean, bringing the region closer to the electricity system of Europe.”

TAQA recently announced its new growth targets for 2030, including plans to expand its Transmission and Distribution business internationally. This HVDC project is the third of its kind outside the UAE that TAQA announced this year. Last month, the company signed an MoU with the Romanian Power Grid Company Transelectrica, Meridiam, E-INFRA and Fluor for a feasibility study of an HVDC infrastructure project in Romania, and in April, TAQA invested into Xlinks First Limited to lay HVDC subsea cables between the UK and Morocco to transport renewable power to the UK.

IPTO, the promoter of the Greece-Cyprus link, is implementing a €5 billion development program by the end of the decade, which includes a series of island interconnections within Greece and a series of cross-border interconnections. Among the major projects that the Greek TSO is implementing are the Attica-Crete interconnection, the interconnections of the Western Cyclades, Dodecanese and the North Aegean islands, as well as the second interconnection with Italy, which will triple the net capacity for the transfer of electricity between Italy and Greece.

Furthermore, IPTO is maturing the Green Aegean Interconnector (GAI), a new vertical corridor for the transmission of clean energy generated in the Eastern Mediterranean and the south of Europe directly to major consumption centers and industrial zones in central Europe.

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