EastMed Gas Pipeline of Common Interest in Europe amid Tensions With Russia, Talks Revived

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EastMed Gas Pipeline of Common Interest in Europe amid Tensions With Russia, Talks Revived

Fri, 04/08/2022 - 09:44
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Eastern Mediterranean satelite image (© Shutterstock/Capitano Footage)
Eastern Mediterranean satelite image (© Shutterstock/Capitano Footage)

The urge for Europe to diversify away from Russian energy supplies amid the Russia-Ukraine crisis has revived talks about the EastMed gas pipeline, which carries gas from Eastern Mediterranean to South-East Europe and Greece.

The European Commission, however, insists on the need for the project to prove its commercial viability before approving it.

EastMed pipeline will receive funding from the EU with an aim to connect Cyprus and Malta to the European power network, through a temporary derogation that will enable it to form the basis for hydrogen transformation.

According to a source at the EU commission, the commercial viability of the project and its ability to offer a positive contribution towards the realization of the Green Deal goals will determine the feasibility of pursuing the EastMed pipeline project.

So far, the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) has already offered grants to the promoter to help take all the technical evaluations, including engineering studies and seabed surveys of the project, to understand its abilities before settling on the investment decisions.

The pipeline is expected to transport 9-12 billion cubic meters of gas annually from gas reserves on the borders of Israel and Cyprus to Greece, after which the gas will be passed on to Italy and other South European countries.

The source at the EU commission disclosed that the project's promoter had not yet finalized all the studies and evaluations to make an investment decision.

The EU's energy goal is to reduce the use of fuels that emit carbon and promote the uptake of green energy, but natural gas may also help change the energy patterns and practices in some states.

According to Washington, the Eastern Mediterranean will be significant in reducing the dependency of Europe on Russian energy, but the state did not mention EastMed as its reference.

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