Subsea power interconnection project between the island of Crete and mainland Greece (Attica region) has secured a €200 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).
IPTO’s Ariadne Interconnection signed the new loan deal, which comes with an option of extending the funding by additional €100 million.
“The participation of EIB secures even better financing terms for the flagship project of Crete’s interconnection to the mainland grid, while it reaffirms the confidence of the European bank in the projects of IPTO,” said Manos Manousakis, president and CEO of IPTO.
The funding has a duration of 20 years, including a 5-year grace period -guaranteed by the Greek State.
The possibility of EIB’s participation in the financing of the project was provided as an option in the loan agreement signed in July 2020 with Eurobank.
The €1-billion Crete-Attica interconnection is the largest energy infrastructure project currently under construction in Greece.
Its financing comes from the co-financing tools of Greece and the European Union (€400 million); Eurobank and EIB (€200 million each) and €200 million in equity.
“The electrical interconnection of Crete with the mainland is pivotal in achieving our goal to overhaul the electricity system in the next few years. Connecting the largest Greek island with the national electricity transmission network is a decisive step in this direction, as well as in the transition of the country to a low carbon footprint economy,” says Greek Minister of Environment and Energy, Kostas Skrekas.
The Crete-Attica interconnection is also the first HVDC interconnection in the Mediterranean that uses the most advanced converter technology of the Voltage Source Converter (VSC) type.
Furthermore, this is one of 5 projects (with VSC technology) with the highest voltage (500kV) in Europe and transmission capacity of 100 MW, which is the highest in Europe for interconnection with an island.