Middle East Monitor / July 5, 2023
Israel is advancing plans with Greece and Cyprus to build the world’s longest undersea electric cable which will connect European and Gulf countries through Jordan and Egypt. The project was approved by the Israeli national planning and building council yesterday. It will see the construction of a 150-kilometre (93-mile) cable to distribute renewable energy efficiently.
According to the occupation state’s Energy and Infrastructure Minister, Israel Katz, the cable is expected to transmit electricity generated predominantly from solar energy fields in southern Israel to high-demand areas in the central and northern parts of the country. He hailed the plan as “a ground-breaking and cross-border project that will move the Israeli electricity grid forward and strengthen Israel’s position in the region. Energy is power, and Israel will become an energy power.”
Connecting the underwater cable to local markets such as Egypt will also resolve the risk of power shortages and allow for exports of green electricity produced in Israel, added the Energy and Infrastructure Ministry.
The Times of Israel pointed out that Israel suffered heat-wave related power cuts last month in addition to wildfires, which led to roadblocks and forced evacuations.
“The cable is a significant part of the national plan for energy and infrastructure that I will present in the coming weeks, to improve the reliability of the electricity system, accelerate the deployment of renewable energies, and link Israel’s electricity grid to Europe, Egypt, Jordan and the Gulf states,” explained Katz. “It’s a step that will contribute to regional stability.”
The announcement comes after Israel, Greece and Cyprus signed a memorandum of understanding to build an undersea cable at the cost of $900 million in 2021. The project will also be partly funded by the European Union.