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28-05-2020 11:08

Minister of Energy: The Council of Ministers has approved the proposal for the ratification law of the bilateral agreement on the EastMed pipeline

Statements by the Minister of Energy following the meeting of the Council of Ministers

The President of the Republic Nicos Anastassiades today chaired a meeting of the Council of Ministers at the Presidential Palace. Speaking after the meeting, the Minister of Energy Mr. Giorgos Lakkotrypis told journalists that the “Council of Ministers at its morning meeting approved, among other things, the proposal for the ratification law of the bilateral agreement on the EastMed pipeline.

The agreement was signed on 2 January in Athens between Greece, Cyprus and Israel while there are specific provisions in the agreement allowing Italy  to sign as well whenever is ready. This bilateral agreement is an indispensable tool that essentially determines various issues between the countries, such as maritime jurisdictions, environmental and security issues and the establishment of a joint working group between the countries for the monitoring and processing of works needed for the project. The bilateral agreement will be tabled to the House for approval.

On the practical level, the Joint Venture is going ahead with the necessary technical studies for the pipeline, which are being financed also by the European Commission with approximately 35m euros. Four studies are at the award stage. The first is concerned with marine surveying and the other three with detailed technical studies (Front-EndEngineeringDesign), both for land installations such as pipelines and conversion stations as well as the technical FEED study on the submerged pipeline itself. These are studies that cost tens of millions of euros, which goes to show the conviction of the consortium that the realisation of this project is feasible.”

Asked if Italy has changed its mind about signing, the Minister said that “there has not been any recent information, you realise that all countries and Italy in particular are focused on handling the pandemic. I am sure that the issue will be reopened in the immediately following period.”

( DC )