Israel kickstarts 93-mile-long undersea electric cable project linking Europe grid

The cable will carry renewable energy from Israel to Europe through Cyprus and Greece.
Sejal Sharma
Representational image.
Representational image.

Dragon Claws/iStock 

Israel, Greece, and Cyprus are actively advancing plans to build the world’s longest undersea electric cable which will act as a 93-mile-long (150 kilometers) energy bridge between Israel, the other two nations, and other European countries.

Israel’s Ministry of Energy announced the commencement of the plan on July 4, saying that the intention is to turn Israel into an energy power, whilst also strengthening its international position. The cable will be partly funded by the European Union.

Exporting green electricity made in Israel

The cable will be built parallel to the Israel seashore and will carry electricity to the demand areas in the center and north. The cable will mostly carry renewable energy produced in the south of the country.

Israel kickstarts 93-mile-long undersea electric cable project linking Europe grid
A map showing the route of the 150-km long cable

Apart from connecting the Israeli electricity system to Europe through Cyprus, the cable will also connect to other Gulf countries through Jordan and Egypt.

Minister of Energy and Infrastructure Israel Katz called the plan "a groundbreaking and cross-border project that will move the Israeli electricity grid forward and strengthen Israel's position in the region."

“Energy is power - And Israel will become an energy power," added Katz.

The East-West connection

Their nearby neighbor Turkey raised objections to the plan in 2021 and is clearly not too happy. Turkey officials argued then that the route of the planned cable transgressed the country’s territorial waters. Turkey is also of the view that the three nations involved needed to first seek its approval before conducting any sort of feasibility studies.

It was earlier estimated that the 2,000-megawatt undersea electric cable will be allocated $6 billion.

Katz added, "The cable is a significant part of the national energy and infrastructure plan that I will present in the coming weeks, and will improve the reliability of the electricity system, accelerate the deployment of renewable energies and allow the Israeli electricity grid to connect to Europe, Egypt, Jordan, and the Gulf states, a step that will strengthen Israel's position and contribute to regional stability.”

Power outages

The recent heat waves in Israel have led to major power outages as the country’s electricity grid struggles to meet the power demands. This has made energy security and independence even more pressing.

The Times of Israel reported that the country witnessed heatwave-related power cuts at the beginning of June, which affected some 260,000 Israelis as temperatures rose above 40 degrees Celsius. There were reports of wildfires across the country, which led to shutting down roads and forcing evacuations.

Preparations for the construction of the cable are in full swing, with Minister Katz visiting France last month to get an impression of the IFA-2 submarine cable between the UK and France. 

Ministry professionals are also learning about the ins and outs of the mechanism from the global experience in the field. An inter-ministerial professional delegation from the Ministry of Energy even flew to Germany to examine the various aspects of the project, from the planning level to the implementation level, said the statement.

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