East Med Gas Pipeline
|This article is part of the Global Fossil Infrastructure Tracker, a project of Global Energy Monitor.|
East Med Gas Pipeline, sometimes written as EastMed Pipeline, is a proposed gas pipeline in Cyprus, Israel, and Greece.
- Operators: IGI Poseidon S.A.
- Owners: DEPA S.A. (50%), Edison S.p.A. (50%)
- Capacity: 10 bcm/year
- Length: approximately 1,900 km / 1,181 mi
- Diameter: 24 to 30 inches, 46- 48 inches
- Status: Proposed
- Cost: $6,188,000,000
- Financing: Two grants totalling €36.5 million (US$40.48 million) from the EU's Connecting Europe Facility
- Start Year: 2025
- Associated Projects: Poseidon Gas Pipeline
In May of 2018 the leaders of Cyprus, Israel, and Greece agreed to push ahead with a proposed pipeline that will supply east Mediterranean gas to Europe. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called the East Med pipeline a “very serious endeavor” that’s important for Europe, which is looking for new sources of energy.
The proposed East Med Pipeline Project would start about 170 kilometers (105 miles) off Cyprus’s southern coast to the Greek coast, via Crete, and is proposed to connect to another proposed pipeline, the Poseidon Gas Pipeline running offshore from Greece to Italy. The East Med pipeline will have the capacity to carry up to 20 billion cubic meters (706 billion cubic feet) of gas yearly. Europe’s gas import needs are projected to increase by 100 billion cubic meters (3.5 billion cubic feet) annually by 2030.
In December 2017, Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said a study on the East Med Pipeline Project showed that the link is feasible, even though it presents technical challenges due to the depths involved. He told The Associated Press pipeline could take 6-7 years to build and that the countries involved “are serious about it.” The leaders on Tuesday also reaffirmed their backing for planned undersea electricity and fiber optic cables that will link the three countries.
According to the European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (ENTSOG), an industry group, the cost of the pipeline would be 5.2 billion Euros (about 5.8 billion USD).
In April 2020, IGI Poseidon issued a 2.4 billion euros call for proposals to start work.
In July 2020, the Israeli government ratified a multinational accord for the project. Bloomberg reported that a survey of the pipeline route is ongoing, with the aim of reaching a final investment decision within two years and completing the project by 2025.
An analysis published by Global Witness in October 2020 found that were the East Med pipeline to operate at full capacity until 2050, the gas it transports could produce more greenhouse gases than France, Spain, and Italy emit altogether in a year. Global Witness also conservatively estimates that the gas transported by the project in one year could lead to the emission of 38 million tonnes of carbon if burned. With methane leaks from the pipeline also factored in, gas and methane from East Med could produce more greenhouse gases than Europe’s single largest fossil fuel emitter, the Belchatow power complex in Poland. Global Witness has called for the pipeline to be scrapped because of both the potential climate cost and the fact that the EU already has plentiful gas supplies.
European 'Project of Common Interest' status
The pipeline was approved in 2015 for inclusion on the European Commission's Projects of Common Interest (PCI) list, making it eligible for public funding. According to the European Commission, "New onshore and offshore pipeline (excluding upstream pipeline section) of approximately 1870 km. The pipeline will have the initial capacity of 10 bcm/y. The total power of the compressor stations to be installed will be around 225 MW. The Metering and Regulating station at Megalopoli, once carried out, will give the potential to connect the Greek gas transmission system with the EastMed pipeline."
The EastMed Pipeline Project third PCI list code is 7.3.1, and its ENTSOG code is TRA-A-330.
IGI Poseidon announced on May 13, 2020 that the Greek Parliament had designated the project as a Project of National Importance and of Public Interest to Greece. In that announcement, IGI Poseidon's chairman stated "The main contracts for the development of the Project have recently been awarded demonstrating that the Project’s development is on track, despite the difficult circumstances and economic upheavals caused by the COVID-19 pandemic”.
Flare-up of regional tensions in August 2020
The discovery over the last two decades of large gas reserves off the coasts of Cyprus and Israel has led to various diplomatic manoeuvres and the signing of agreements which have seen swathes of the eastern Mediterranean being claimed by competing countries. Amidst escalating tensions, a collision took place in August 2020 between Greek and Turkish warships in the East Mediterranean. The East Med pipeline's prospects are expected to be affected if these regional tensions, which have also drawn in France, the EU, the United States and NATO, continue to go unresolved.
Via its PCI status, through the CEF program the project has received €36.5 million (US$40.48 million) of publicly funded grants to assist with the costs of pre-development technical studies. As of the end of 2020, IGI Poseidon is reported to have invested €70 million in the project's planning stage, and a final investment decision is planned to be taken in 2022.
Articles and resources
- Israel, Cyprus, and Greece push East Med gas pipeline to Europe Times of Israel, accessed August 2018
- IGI Poseidon - Eastmed accessed Jan. 11, 2020
- European Network of Transmission System Operators for Gas (November 25, 2020). "TYNDP 2020 - MAP – Transmission" (PDF). ENTSOG. Retrieved December 3, 2020.
- INNOVATION AND NETWORKS EXECUTIVE AGENCY (December 2020). "Eastern Mediterranean Natural Gas Pipeline – Pre-FEED Studies". Retrieved December 9, 2020.
- Tugwell, Paul (January 1, 2020). "Leaders From Israel, Cyprus, Greece Sign EastMed Gas Pipe Deal". Bloomberg. Retrieved August 17, 2020. line feed character in
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- Our company profile, IGI Poseidon website, accessed Nov. 2, 2020
- "Eastmed". IGI Poseidon. 2016-02-02. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- "Works - 197398-2020 - TED Tenders Electronic Daily". ted.europa.eu. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Alisa Odenheimer, "Israel Approves Natural Gas Pipeline Link to Europe," Bloomberg, Jul. 19, 2020
- ENTSOG Ten Year Network Development Plan 2020, Annex A, Projects Tables accessed Jan. 11, 2020
- Pipeline from the East Mediterranean gas reserves to Greece mainland via Crete European Commission, accessed December 11, 2019
- Pyrrhic Victory: Why Europe and Turkey should not fight over fossil gas we cannot use, Global Witness, October 30, 2020
- "EASTMED-POSEIDON PIPELINE DESIGNATED AS PROJECT OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE". IGI Poseidon. 2020-05-20. Retrieved 2020-08-17.
- Michele Kambas, Tuvan Gumrukcu, Greek, Turkish warships in 'mini collision' Ankara calls provocative, Reuters, Aug. 14, 2020
- The US backs the construction of the EastMed gas pipeline, Enerdata, Dec. 21, 2020