Bloomberg: A former California state senator is spearheading a plan to build a €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion) electricity cable from Egypt to Greece, saying it’s a vital addition to Europe’s energy security.

Andreas Borgeas

Andreas Borgeas wants to construct the link to the island of Crete — less than 300 miles across the Mediterranean Sea from the Egyptian coast — providing an entry point to the Balkans and beyond. Egypt, with surplus power, is eyeing the region as a potentially lucrative source of earnings as demand booms.

Borgeas, a Greek-American who was a member of the California State Senate from 2018 to 2022, now runs Greece-Africa Power Interconnector, or GAP, a subsidiary of Eunice Energy Group. US interest in such projects is high as it seeks to boost economic ties and energy security in the eastern Mediterranean.

“GAP serves the geopolitical and geostrategic objectives of both the EU and US, as well as Greece, to cut dependence on Russian energy sources and to meet climate-agenda goals,” Borgeas said in an interview in Athens. “That alignment doesn’t happen very often.”

GAP is applying to include the planned interconnector in a European Union list of projects of mutual interest, which may help secure licensing and funding. Comprising two cables totaling 2,000 megawatts, the link could be operational within five years of being ordered, Borgeas said.

GAP has attracted interest from several potential partners, including Houston-based McDermott International Ltd., which has said it will provide “engineering and construction guidance.” While supplying the Greek market, power could also be sent on to other Balkan countries and to Italy. Some may also be used to generate green hydrogen at a proposed facility on Crete for use in the maritime industry, Borgeas said.

There are a number of power-link projects currently under discussion for the region, and GAP may tie in with Eunice’s planned €1.5 billion Southern Aegean Interconnector, or SAI.  While SAI would be able to transfer power to the Greek mainland from any renewable-energy project in the Aegean, it could also send electricity from GAP if the national grid isn’t used, Borgeas said. “The two projects are separate, but complementary and can be combined,” he said. “Egypt already has enough power to export and there’s European demand to consume that power.”

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