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EIB to co-finance the Crete-Attica interconnection project

EIB to co-finance the Crete-Attica interconnection project

The European Investment Bank has given a 200-million-euro loan to help Greece establish the electrical interconnection of Crete with Attica

The Independent Power Transmission Operator (IPTO) announced that the Crete-Attica interconnection project will receive financing from the European Investment Bank (EIB). More specifically, IPTO’s subsidiary Ariadne Interconnection signed a 200-million-euro loan agreement with the EIB.

This loan, the EIB reported, can also be further extended by 100 million euros. The Greek State has guaranteed the funding for this project for the duration of 20 years, including a 5-year grace period.

What is the aim of the project?

The goal of the Crete-Attica interconnection is to power Greece’s biggest island using energy from the mainland. As such, this project has been termed the ‘largest energy infrastructure project under construction’ in the country.

Its development and completion will have a plethora of economic and environmental benefits. Taking this further, Ariadne Interconnection explains that utility bills will decrease by approximately 400 million euros per year. In addition to this, the project will create jobs and contribute to reducing the country’s carbon footprint.

According to the EIB, the Minister of Environment and Energy Kostas Skrekas commented: “The electrical interconnection of Crete with the mainland is pivotal in achieving our goal to overhaul the electricity system in the next few years. Connecting the largest Greek island with the national electricity transmission network is a decisive step in this direction, as well as in the transition of the country to a low carbon footprint economy.

The process

On its website, Ariadne Interconnection details how the electrical interconnection will be established. First, AC/DC converter stations will be built in both Attica and Crete. Then, underground and submarine cables will be planted. Lastly, transmission system infrastructure and electrode stations will be constructed.

In total, the project has a budget of 1 billion euros and its funding comes from 3 different sources: bank lending, equity, and EU funding.

EIB’s Vice President Mr. Christian Kettel Thomsen also commented on the project as he noted that “The European Investment Bank is committed to supporting transformational energy investment across Greece. The new EIB 200 million long-term financing backs one of the longest submarine power links in the world essential to increasing transmission of green energy from Crete and increase use of clean energy in Greece.”

Crete-Attica interconnection animated video by the EIB

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