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The GREGY initiative: 10 facts about Egypt-Greece electrical interconnection

The Egypt-Greece Electrical Interconnection project, dubbed GREGY, is an innovative solution for Europe's energy crisis, and a new endeavor for Egypt.
© Egypt Business Directory

The cable will transmit power produced by renewables from North Africa to Europe, the first such infrastructure in the Mediterranean. It will link Egypt with the Cypriot and Greek power grids through the island of Crete, with a high-voltage direct current submarine power cable of length around 1,396-kilometre (867 mi).

  1. Project Inception: The Egypt-Greece electrical interconnection project, also known as GREGY, was envisioned in 2009 and activated through a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Greek Ministry of Environment and Energy and the Egyptian Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy.

  2. EU’s Interest: The European Union is considering to add this interconnection project to its list of Projects of Common Interest (PCIs), which will facilitate the funding and permitting of the project. This proposal is a step towards submitting it to the European Parliament and Council for approval.

  3. Project Implementation: The Greek infrastructure group Copelouzos, through its subsidiary Elica, is spearheading the implementation of this project, which is set to transfer 3,000 megawatts of energy into Greece's Attica peninsula via a subsea cable.

  4. Financial Aspects: The project has a total budget of 4.2 billion euros and aims to alleviate Europe’s dependency on natural gas, by replacing 4.5 billion cubic meters of its usage per annum, and in turn, reducing CO2 emissions by 10 million tons annually.

  5. Responding to Energy Crisis: Amid an energy crisis in Europe, triggered by a decline in natural gas supplies from Russia due to the Russian-Ukrainian War, Egypt stepped in to help, significantly increasing its liquefied natural gas (LNG) exports to the EU in 2022.

  6. Trilateral Agreement: A trilateral agreement on power linkage was signed among Egypt, Greece, and Cyprus to foster energy cooperation, aimed at connecting electricity in the future with the rest of the European continent.

  7. Undersea Cable Agreement: An agreement concerning an undersea cable to transmit power from North Africa to Europe was signed, marking a significant step towards achieving the common goal of electrical interconnection.

  8. Regional Gas Market: The three countries are part of the EastMed Gas Forum (EMGF), aiming to establish a regional gas market in the eastern Mediterranean, enhancing trade relations among member states, and maximizing the benefit from natural gas and hydrocarbon resources in the Mediterranean Sea.

  9. Regional Stability and Cooperation: The initiative is seen as a beacon of stability in the Eastern Mediterranean region, enhancing bilateral cooperation in fields like energy, tourism, environment, and trade, besides addressing regional issues and counterterrorism.

  10. Future Ambitions: The leaders of the involved countries have expressed the aspiration that this project would pave the way for further energy cooperation, potentially extending to other countries in the Eastern Mediterranean, Western Balkans, and Central European regions, thereby fostering a broader regional cooperation in energy resources and transmission.