Cypriot government approves EastMed pipeline

Greece, Cyprus and Israel sign the agreement, Athens, 2 January.

The Cypriot cabinet on Thursday ratified the EastMed gas pipeline project, Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said in a statement. The project was signed in January by Greece, Israel, and Cyprus. The pipeline includes 1,300km of offshore and 600km of onshore sections. It will transport natural gas from the Levantine Basin in Israel and gas fields in Cypriot waters to Greece and Italy.

Italy has not yet signed the project but Lakkotrypis said the agreement includes provisions allowing Italy to sign whenever it is ready.

He also said the European Commission will fund four studies worth around €35m. One concerns underwater surveys while the rest regard the infrastructure, including the pipeline itself.

Asked how the coronavirus pandemic might affect the project, the minister said companies involved in such large projects plan years ahead and not based on current conditions. “Very soon the consortium will go ahead with finding buyers for the eastern Mediterranean gas,” he said, adding that this was the most important criterion that would decide whether the project is feasible.

The bill will now be sent to the Cypriot Parliament for approval.

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