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EuroAsia Interconnector will connect the power systems of Cyprus and Israel with continental Europe

Cyprus firm EuroAsia Interconnector said Wednesday it had awarded French company Nexans a 1.43 billion euro contract for a submarine electricity cable to connect the grids of Cyprus, Greece and Israel. The EU-backed high-voltage “electricity highway” is set to run for 1,208 kilometers (751 miles) along the Mediterranean sea floor at depth of more than 3,000 meters (9,850 feet).

Billed as the world’s longest and deepest interconnector project, it aims to “end the energy isolation” of Cyprus and Israel and connect both to the European mainland via the Greek island of Crete. It will have the capacity to supply over three million homes with electricity.

Cyprus, located in the eastern Mediterranean, now relies heavily on fossil fuel imports for energy but has vast potential to step up solar power production for eventual export. EuroAsia said the 525kV high voltage direct current cable will be manufactured in Nexans’ facilities of Halden, in Norway and Futtsu in Japan.

The interconnector will eventually deliver up to 2,000 MW of energy to Europe, it said. The ambitious project is expected to be completed in 2029. “The world’s longest and deepest subsea HVDC electricity interconnector built by Nexans will put Cyprus on the world energy map, ending the energy isolation of Cyprus, the last non-interconnected EU member state, and Israel,” said Nasos Ktorides, CEO of EuroAsia Interconnector.

He added that the Interconnector “is a leading European project of common interest serving the Green Deal of the European Commission.” The CEO of power and data cable maker Nexans, Christopher Guerin, said “this record-breaking project demonstrates our capacity to innovate and push the limits of electrical transmission and distribution to meet an ever-growing global need. “This is a crucial step on the path to a carbon-free economy.”

The “electricity highway” has secured 658 million euros through the European financing mechanism Connecting Europe Facility and 100 million euros from the Cyprus government’s EU-approved Recovery and Resilience Fund.