Sunday,22 October, 2017
Current issue | Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)
Sunday,22 October, 2017
Issue 1362, (28 September - 4 October 2017)

Ahram Weekly

New energy ties

Egypt, Greece and Cyprus have the potential to become strong energy partners, reports Niveen Wahish

The leaders of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus
The leaders of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus

Egypt could be the key to enabling Cyprus to export its natural gas, as the country is keen on using Egypt’s liquefied natural gas (LNG) facilities in Damietta to enable it to export its gas, Nicholas Papadopoulos, Cypriot president of the Democratic Party and presidential elections candidate said this week in Cairo.  

Papadopoulos was addressing a workshop on the “Emerging Strategic Cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece: Energy and Security” organised jointly by the School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at AUC with the Institute for International Relations, Panteion University, and the Centre for Energy Policy at the University of Nicosia (UNIC).

Ten per cent of the gas from the Aphrodite field would be enough to cover the needs of Cyprus for 25 years, and the remainder is available for export, Theodoros Tsakiris, a professor at UNIC, told the participants. The Aphrodite field is a gas field off the southern coast of Cyprus.

It holds 4.5 trillion cubic feet of reserves, but despite this wealth Cyprus is bearing 200 million euros from the excess costs of energy importation, Tsakiris said. He stressed that Cyprus wanted to move forward with plans to send its gas to Damietta and export it from there. He said that so far Cyprus had been unable to export the gas because it did not have the infrastructure to do so. Creating that infrastructure would be very costly, but going through Egypt would be a solution, he said.

Cooperation between Egypt, Cyprus and Greece is also possible in electricity production. Amr Serageddin, a professor at the Department of Petroleum and Energy Engineering at AUC, suggested the sharing of renewable wind energy through a project that involves Egypt sending its wind-produced energy to Cyprus through marine cables some 300km in length.

Cyprus would be connected to Greece through Crete and the EuroAsia Interconnector that creates an energy bridge between Europe and Asia with a total length of 1,520km, he said. “Integrating wind energy from different locations will enable the grid to avoid fluctuations,” Serageddin added.

The heads of state and government of Egypt, Greece and Cyprus are scheduled to hold a summit meeting in Nicosia in November 2017. They previously held three consecutive meetings, the last of which was in October 2016. The three states have committed themselves to working towards enhancing a tripartite partnership that will promote the common interests of their countries.

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