U.S. backs Mediterranean power projects to meet Europe’s energy needs

Sotiris Nikas 1/10/2022

(Bloomberg) --The U.S. is backing natural gas and low-carbon power sources as it seeks to improve the eastern Mediterranean’s energy ties to Europe and promote stability in the region.

“We are shifting our focus to electricity interconnectors that can support both gas and renewable energy sources,” the nation’s embassy in Greece said in a statement. “We remain committed to physically interconnecting East Med energy to Europe.”

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Europe has suffered from an energy-supply crunch amid unusually low gas inventories, causing prices to surge in recent months. The embassy said it seeks to deepen its regional relationships and promote clean technologies “at a time when Europe’s energy security is -- more than ever -- a question of national security.”

The U.S. supports projects including the planned EuroAfrica interconnector from Egypt to Crete and the Greek mainland, as well as the proposed EuroAsia project to link up power grids in Israel, Cyprus and Europe, according to the embassy.

Cyprus, Greece and Israel a year ago signed a deal to build the 1,900-kilometer (1,200 mile) eastern Mediterranean natural gas pipeline. The planned link is designed to carry gas from the region to Europe via Greece and Italy.

While the Greek government has supported the project, it is also considering a number of alternative routes that may be technically and economically more viable, government spokesman Ioannis Oikonomou said Monday.

“Our country is not a producer, it is a strong transit hub -- a role that we will have regardless of which routing procedure will be chosen,” he said.

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