The Palestine Chronicle / July 20, 2020
The Israeli government cabinet approved on Sunday a $6.9 billion plan to lay a natural gas pipeline, Eastmed, with the aim of exporting natural gas to Europe.
The plan was formulated by ministers of energy in Israel, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy last January.
The natural gas was reportedly found in Israeli and Cypriot waters, giving the two countries’ energy sectors a huge boost and a competitive advantage over Turkey and other countries in the region.
“The government approval of the framework agreement for laying the Israel-Europe natural gas pipeline is another historic milestone for making Israel an energy exporter,” Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz told reporters on Sunday.
The 1.9 thousand kilometres (approximately 1.2 thousand miles) corridor has the potential of transporting natural gas from the East Mediterranean basin to European markets through facilities in Greece, Cyprus and Italy.
The East Mediterranean energy scene, however, is quite complicated, as the same waters are also being contested by Turkey and Libya.
The Israeli project is expected to be completed in 2025. However, political conflicts, especially the ones pertaining to territorial waters, are likely to complicate Israel’s hopes of dominating the energy sector of that region.
“The European Union and the pipeline’s owner IGI Poseidon, a joint venture between Greek gas firm DEPA and Italian energy group Edison, have each invested 35 million euros in the planning,” Reuters news agency reported.