The Eastern Mediterranean (EastMed) pipeline project relates to an offshore/onshore natural gas pipeline, directly connecting East Mediterranean resources to Greece via Cyprus and Crete that could: i) enhance Europe’s gas security of supply via diversification of counterparts, routes and sources; ii) develop EU indigenous resources such as the offshore gas reserves around Cyprus and Greece; and iii) promote the development of a South Mediterranean Gas Hub.
The project is currently designed to transport initially 10 Bcm/y (billion cubic meters of gas per year) from the off-shore gas reserves in the Levantine Basin (Cyprus and Israel) into Greece and, in conjunction with the Poseidon and IGB pipelines, int to Italy and other South East European countries. Furthermore, the pipeline would allow to feed Cyprus internal consumption with additional 1 Bcm/y.
The EastMed project current design envisages a 1.300 km offshore pipeline and a 600 km onshore pipeline. The pipeline, starts from the new natural gas discoveries in the East Mediterranean region and comprises the following sections:
200 km offshore pipeline stretching from Eastern Mediterranean sources to Cyprus;
700 km offshore pipeline connecting Cyprus to Crete Island;
400 km offshore pipeline from Crete to mainland Greece (Peloponnese);
600 km onshore pipeline crossing Peloponnese and West Greece.
The EastMed pipeline is preliminarily designed to have exit points in Cyprus, Crete, mainland Greece as well as the connection point with the Poseidon pipeline.
In 2015, with the support of the Cypriot, Greek and Italian Governments and as a result of the benefits that the project brings to Europe, the EastMed pipeline has been confirmed as Project of Common Interest (PCI), being included by the EU Commission in the second PCI list among the Southern Gas Corridor projects.
The EastMed project has also been included in the last Ten Years Development Plan (TYNDP), in line with the objective of the European Network Transportation System Operators of Gas (ENTSOG) to create a single European market for gas and a reliable and safe transmission network capable of meeting Europe’s current and future needs.
The project has been awarded in 2015 with European grants of 2 million euro through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) program necessary for the co-finance of the Pre-FEED activities.
In April 2017, during the Ministerial Summit held in Tel Aviv, in the presence of European Commissioner Miguel Arias Canete, the Ministers for Energy of Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed a Joint Declaration to reaffirm their support to the swift implementation of the Project.
During the period 2015-2016, IGI Poseidon has finalized, also thanks to EU financial contribution under the CEF program, with the support of first class international engineering (Intecsea and C&M consortium) and global consultancy (IHS-Cera) firms, the PRE-FEED studies, definitively confirming that the EastMed Pipeline Project is:
technically feasible: relevant industry players have confirmed availability of several pipe mills and of multiple laying vessels capable of securing project realization;
economically viable: current estimate of project capital expenditures requirements evidences that the total project cost results lower than similar-capacity import projects to EU and sustainable in view of EU gas prices scenarios;
complementary to other export options: current discoveries from the region would sustain approximately 30 Bcm/y exports to global markets, without accounting for future discoveries in a widely underexplored region, and would therefore support multiple export schemes, including to global markets via LNG and to Europe via EastMed pipeline.
EastMed Pipeline Project development activities are now focusing on performing marine surveys along the route, in order to improve routing accuracy and to finalize preparation of the tender packages for initiating the proper development phase, that would allow the project to reach Investment Decision status.