Crete-Attica Interconnection is officially launched

A vision of decades comes to life.

The electrical interconnection of Crete and Attica is officially launched after the signing of the contracts between Ariadne Interconnection, a subsidiary of IPTO, which implements the project, and the contractor-companies, in a special ceremony held today in Herakleion.

The electrical interconnection between Crete and Attica is a project of national importance, with multiple environmental and socio-economic benefits. It is a EUR 1 bn investment, with a strong development potential for Crete, since its completion within 2023 will permanently eliminate the island’s energy isolation and will give Crete cheap, green and reliable power supply.  It signals the end of Crete’s dependency on the autonomous polluting power plants which will be closed down. 

According to a study by the Region of Crete, the electrification of the Crete-Peloponnese interconnection by the end of the year and the operation of the Crete-Attica interconnection, will reduce the CO2 emissions of Crete by 60% compared to the current levels. 

At the same time, the project will reduce electricity bills by EUR 400 million a year, which means that it will pay for itself within a 2.5 year period. It will further allow the utilisation Crete’s great RES potential, with the installation of wind and solar farms, of a total capacity of 2500 MW.

Mr Kostis Hatzidakis, Minister of Environment and Energy, made the following statement: “The submarine electrical connection of Crete with Attica is one of the largest projects realised in recent years in our country. It is also a development project, particularly for Crete, which is entering into a new chapter of energy security and certainty. This project will save 400 million a year on consumer bills.  But it also has an environmental advantage, because its completion will lead to the closing down of the power plants in Linoperamata, Atherinolakkos and Chania.  There is a direct positive effect particularly for the Municipality of Malevizio also thanks to IPTO's offsets and the Green Fund with a 9-9.5 million euro budget. We are going forward with our energy policy, on a green and European path, and today's project is moving in precisely this direction”.
The Deputy Minister of Energy, Mr Gerasimos Thomas, noted: “IPTO is a pioneer in the country's energy modernisation, as it is implementing most of the investments for its electrification. At this time, the Operator is dynamically proceeding with the completion of the first phase of the interconnection of Crete, the other interconnections of the Cyclades islands and is systematically preparing the interconnection of the Dodecanese and North Aegean. It is the largest investor and we hope that others will go even further”.
The Chairman of Ariadne Interconnection and Chairman and CEO of the parent IPTO group, Manos Manousakis, underlined: “The interconnection of Crete with Attica is one of the largest infrastructure projects currently under way in Greece. IPTO, through Ariadne Interconnection, managed to enter into contracts - within a record on year period - for all parts of this historic project. In 2023, the large cable of Crete will offer safe, cost-efficient and green power supply to the island to the benefit of its residents and visitors. With this milestone project in the history of the National Transmission system, IPTO has proved that it can implement one of the most demanding electrical interconnection projects in the world, in a rapid, transparent and efficient manner, maximizing benefits for all Greek consumers”.

Signing of contracts

The contracts were signed today for the two branches of the Crete-Attica interconnection, namely the cable sections, for EUR 615 million and the converter stations for EUR 370 million. The interconnection includes two ultra-high voltage 500 kV cables which, when electrified in 2023, will reinforce the transmission capacity of the Cretan System to 1000 MW, finally eliminating the island's electricity exclusion. 

More specifically, the contracts were signed with contractors from five countries:

  1. Prysmian (Italy), for the first part of the project, involving the design, supply and installation of one of the two submarine cables to connect Crete to Attica, and the electrode stations in Crete and Attica.

  2. Nexans (Norway), for the second part of the second submarine cable.

  3. Companies Hellenic Cables-NKT (Sweden), for the third part, that relates to the underground cable parts that will connect the Converter Stations in Crete and Attica with the submarine cable parts.

  4. Prysmian, for the fourth part, involving the design, supply and installation of fiber optics.
  5. Siemens (Germany) - TERNA (member of the GEK TERNA Group) for the design, supply and installation of two Converter Stations and one Substation.

The event was addressed by the Head of the Region of Crete, Mr Stavros Arnaoutakis. The event was also addressed - via online connection - by Ms Beatrix Natter, CEO of Siemens Gas and Power, Mr Hakan Osemn, Executive Vice- Chairman of Prysmian and the Executive Vice-Chairperson of Nexans, Ms. Ragnhild Katteland.