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Cyprus government to request cost-benefit study for Great Sea Interconnector

Τhe Cyprus government will request from Greece’s Independent Power Transmission Operator to carry out a cost-benefit study as regards the Cyprus-Greece electricity interconnection (Great Sea Interconnector), Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said following a House Energy Committee meeting.

Papanastasiou explained that the project, with a total value of €1.9 billion, was previously under a different implementation body (Euro Asia Interconnector) and previous studies had been done on the subject, however the energy environment is changing and therefore the government thought it would be appropriate to indicate to the new implementer that an updated cost and benefit study could be carried out.

He noted that this study should have been done a long time ago, before reaching the point of taking the investment decision in principle for the participation of the Republic of Cyprus in the project.

Replying to a question the Energy Minister said that the study will demonstrate the sharing of costs between the two countries, noting that the energy environment is a dynamic one and may have changed and there is another logic around the sharing of these costs.

He further explained that the final investment decision means that any shareholder in the project will also have to take on responsibilities around the lending of the project.

Papanastasiou said that if we exclude €658 million which is the sponsorship, the remaining €1.2 billion should come from lending. He went on to emphasize that this is the important thing for Cyprus to know what is the responsibility it will assume.

The Minister also added that when we assume this responsibility, we should know what will be the interest of the Cypriot consumer who pays very high electricity prices at the moment.

He reiterated that the aim is to reduce the cost of electricity in Cyprus adding that the interconnection will benefit the consumers.

As regards the solar panel scheme the government announced recently for all households, the Minister said that 5,000 applications were received and time is needed to go through all the applications.

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