Israel’s new energy developments

Tamar Gas Field drilling rig

Tamar Gas Field drilling rig (Reuters)

In more good news that is a direct result of other good news, we read that an undersea electricity cable, the longest in the world, is to be laid between Israel, Cyprus and Greece, powered by Israeli and Cypriot natural gas.

A Cyprus-based company says it is planning to lay a 2,000 megawatt undersea electricity cable linking Israel, Cyprus and Greece. Quantum Energy official George Killas told The Associated Press Monday that the cable would relay electricity to Greece and the rest of Europe from Cypriot and Israeli natural gas deposits that were recently discovered in the eastern Mediterranean between the two countries.

Killas said the company, whose main shareholders include Greece’s state-run Public Power Corporation, hope to start the 1.5 billion euro ($1.9 billion) project early next year following approval from Israeli, Cypriot and Greek authorities.

The 998-kilometer (620-mile) cable that will reach a maximum depth of 2,000 meters (6,562 feet) will take around three years to complete.

More details from Reuters:

A Cyprus-based group including Greece’s state-controlled power utility PPC said on Monday it planned to lay the world’s longest subsea power cable linking Europe and Asia.

At 540 nautical miles (1000 kms) long and lying at a maximum depth of 2,000 metres, the link, called the EuroAsia Interconnector project, would be the longest in the world, said Nassos Ktoridis, chairman of the DEH-Quantum Energy partnership behind the project.

The cable could carry 2,000 megawatts of electricity east to west across the Mediterranean linking Israel, Cyprus and Greece.

Asked where the electricity could be generated, Ktoridis said :”If Israel starts natural gas exports it could be used to generate electricity, along with that of Cyprus later.”

Both countries have made natural gas discoveries in offshore areas in recent years.

Israel does not export gas, with its present production limited for domestic consumption. Cyprus, which announced its gas discovery last month, has no infrastructure to extract gas and is still considering its delivery options.

A related item that I read in Hurriyet Daily News reports that Israel is planning an overland rail route that would link Asia and Europe:

Israel’s government on Sunday began examining a plan for a rail link between its Mediterranean and Red Sea coasts, offering a new route for Europe-Asia trade that could compete with the Suez Canal.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said a passenger line through the desert would for the first time put Israel’s southern Red Sea resort of Eilat a two-hour rain ride from Tel Aviv, 350 kilometres (220 miles) away.

“In addition there will be a line for carrying goods from Asia to Europe,” Netanyahu told a meeting of his cabinet. “It has created very great interest in among the emerging powers, China and India, and others.” He said that new rail and road networks would join the Eilat line to northern Israel and also become “a junction between continents.” “It is therefore of strategic importance, both nationally and internationally,” he said, adding Sunday’s discussion would be the first of at least two on the subject.

It appears that Israel is getting to grips with its energy windfalls and combining it with its strategic position in the Mediterranean to develop its economy even further, lessening its dependence on the whims of its Arab enemy-neighbours.

Great news to start the week!

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10 Responses to Israel’s new energy developments

  1. Elchanan Sussman. says:

    Anne this great, but what worries me is that thses woderful will be the targets of Muslim/Arab terror!
    Elchanan

    • anneinpt says:

      Hi Elchanan, great to actually “see” you on my blog!

      Re your concerns, do the Arab terrorists have the technology to get all the way under the sea in order to sabotage the cable? I doubt it. Of course they could cause havoc during the laying of the cable but I’m sure our Navy can sort them out.

      As for the train link, well, we’ve already got a train and light railway and they’re at least as secure as the buses (oh, wait…). All we can do is make sure proper security is in place. These concerns mustn’t paralyse us into inaction.

  2. lewy14 says:

    Great news, but I’d take up front cash payments if I were Israel.

    Both Cyprus and Greece are all but bankrupt.

    • anneinpt says:

      You’ve got a good point. On the other hand, if Israel produces the electricity provided from Cypriot gas it’s more or less a barter deal. Not bad in that case.

  3. cba says:

    As long as the rail link to Eilat doesn’t delay the Akko-Karmiel line… מה שחשוב, חשוב

    • anneinpt says:

      A case of NIMBY-ism in reverse :-). You want your backyard taken care of first! Can’t say I blame you though. Getting the train up to Kiryat Shmona and the Golan would be excellent too. Baby steps…

  4. John Jr says:

    Thank for sharing this Mrs. Anne, and for letting me know about the option to disable Infinite Scrolling. 🙂

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