Electricity

Several undersea power cables about to connect Europe with Africa

undersea power cables connect Europe Africa

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September 16, 2021

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Published:

September 16, 2021

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Greece and Egypt are in talks about the possibility to lay a 2 GW submarine interconnector on the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea and link their electricity systems. Several other projects are under development for the delivery of renewable energy from Africa to Europe.

The transmission system operators of Greece and Egypt have the ambition to install an undersea cable between Europe and Africa, EnergyPress reported. The two companies have strong competition as numerous other bilateral endeavors are underway.

The Independent Power Transmission Operator (Admie or IPTO), which is the Greek TSO, is preparing a memorandum of understanding with its Egyptian counterpart EETC about a submarine interconnector with the capacity of 2 GW, the news outlet wrote, citing an unnamed source.

Significant green energy production capacity is planned to be built across North Africa

The idea behind setting up links between the two continents is to deliver renewable electricity from North Africa, where significant green energy production capacity is about to be built, to the European mainland. From the entry points, it can be transmitted through existing and planned infrastructure to Central and Western Europe.

Greece is boosting the capacity of the high-voltage interconnection with Bulgaria. It is also working with Italy on a 1 GW submarine cable link below the Ionian Sea, on top of the existing one with a capacity of 500 MW. It was built in 2001.

The report adds private partners could participate in the project with Egypt. Admie is examining what the best route would be: to Crete, the Peloponnese or even Attica.

EuroAfrica, EuroAsia

Greece is already part of the EuroAfrica Interconnector project. It is envisaged for linking its mainland with Cyprus and Egypt through Crete. Another envisaged corridor is the EuroAsia Interconnector, which should go from Israel through Cyprus to Crete and onto the Greek mainland.

Crete and Cyprus are set to be interconnected with Greece’s mainland, Israel and Egypt when the two major corridors are complete

Admie already installed a cable from the Peloponnese peninsula to Crete. The other line should be finished next year. Another interconnection project is under development for connecting the island with Attica, where Athens is located. It would be a section of the interconnectors that go to Israel and Egypt.

The European Union approved a EUR 100 million grant for the EuroAsia Interconnector in July.

Power cables may go through Sicily, Sardinia

Elsewhere, Italy and Tunisia are preparing to set up a 600 MW link under the Strait of Sicily. The EU gave TUNITA, also known as Elmed Mediterranean, the status of a project of community interest or PCI, just like the EuroAsia Interconnector.

Algeria is looking at the possibility to connect with both Italy (via Sardinia) and Spain. Spain intends to install a submarine cable to Morocco, on top of the two existing ones, with a combined capacity of 1.4 GW. The African country is developing a similar bilateral project with Portugal, too.

British-based company Xlinx said in April that it wants to drive four undersea high-voltage direct current (HVDC) cables all the way to Morocco. The envisaged capacity is 3.6 GW. It would be the longest submarine interconnection in the world.

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