Egypt is set to become a trailblazer in the global energy transition with its ambitious plan to transport over 2GW of solar and wind power to Europe via a 1,000km undersea cable. The milestone agreement between Belgian contractor Jan De Nul and Egypt marks a significant step forward in laying the groundwork for this groundbreaking project.
While the specific European country the cable will connect to remains undisclosed, Egypt remains steadfast in its commitment to the project, evident in the reaffirmation of its plans this past September. The cable, known as the “GREGY Interconnector,” was a topic of discussion between the foreign ministers of Egypt and Greece at the UN General Assembly.
As the project gains momentum, it is worth noting that the proposed cable will outstretch the current longest interconnector cable between Denmark and Britain, measuring 1,000km in length. This substantial distance presents a unique challenge, made even more daunting as the water depths along the cable track reach up to 3km.
Jan De Nul’s commitment to the project is exemplified by their recent order of a next-generation cable installation vessel, the Fleeming Jenkin. This vessel, twice the size of any existing cable-laying vessel in the world, is specifically designed to tackle endeavors of this scale, involving long distances and great depths.
By participating in the development of this pioneering project, Jan De Nul aims to contribute to Egypt’s commendable efforts in leading the energy transition on the African continent. The GREGY interconnector, hailed as a “flagship project” by the European Commission, will not only support the bloc’s objective of reducing reliance on Russian gas in the aftermath of the Ukrainian crisis but also play a significant role in achieving its net-zero targets.
This ambitious endeavor is set to benefit from accelerated permitting procedures and funding as it has been included on the European Commission’s list of “Projects of Mutual Interest.” The project will have a capacity of 3GW, generated from 9.5 GW of renewable energy sources constructed and operated by Copelouzos Group and Infinity Power in Egypt.
Furthermore, the GREGY Interconnector will facilitate the distribution of energy in various ways, allocating one-third of the energy for use in Greek households and industries, exporting a portion to neighboring countries, and utilizing another portion in Greece for the production of green hydrogen, which will subsequently be exported to the EU.
Egypt’s connection with Europe is not the only effort to transport green energy from North Africa to the continent. Cable connections already exist between Morocco and Spain, with plans underway for additional connections between Tunisia and Italy, as well as Morocco and the UK.
Q: What is the purpose of the undersea cable project?
A: The purpose of the undersea cable project is to transport over 2GW of solar and wind power from Egypt to Europe.
Q: How long will the undersea cable be?
A: The undersea cable is expected to be 1,000km in length, making it the longest interconnector cable of its kind globally.
Q: What are some benefits of the project?
A: The project will help Europe reduce its reliance on Russian gas, support its net-zero targets, and foster the development of renewable energy sources in Egypt.
Q: What other countries are involved in similar projects?
A: There are existing cable connections between Morocco and Spain, and plans for connections between Tunisia and Italy, as well as Morocco and the UK.