On 10 June, 2022, DNV issued confirmation of the Feasibility Statement of the Eastern Mediterranean Deepwater Pipeline (EastMed), a 2000 km long onshore and offshore natural gas conduit project meant to connect offshore gas reserves from the Levantine Basin to Greece via Cyprus, and further to southeastern European countries in conjunction with Poseidon and Greece-Bulgaria interconnection (IGB) pipelines.
The current design envisions a 1400 km offshore and 600 km onshore pipeline, with an initial capacity of about 10 billion m3 of gas each year; the maximum water depth reached, for a short section of around 10 km, is 3000 m, in line with other ultradeep-water pipelines already installed in other parts of the world.
The unique context of this project in the Eastern Mediterranean region helps countries with coal- and heavy crude oil-reliant energy systems transition to the cleaner source that is natural gas to reach their net-zero targets and strengthen their energy security.
In particular, the EastMed Project, developed by IGI Poseidon S.A., is meant to respond to the specific needs of regions such as Cyprus or some part of Greece, which are not tightly connected to the continent’s energy system and whose economies rely heavily on energy-intensive users like marine tankers and international aviation. It would also allow countries like Bulgaria to diversify their supplies and increase their energy security.
The policy planning priorities laid out in several EU-members’ National Energy and Climate Plans (ENCP) identify both the reduction/removal of greenhouse gas emissions and their supply security as central for their energy transition. In line with these ambitions, the EastMed Pipeline Project was listed as a PCI (project of common interest – cross-border projects identified as central for interconnecting the EU's energy system infrastructure) by the European Commission and received grants from the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) to carry out technical, economic and environmental/social impact assessments, including detailed seabed surveys.
Following a recent route optimization and geophysical studies, DNV just updated a report on the feasibility of the project, having issued a first one in 2020 covering the Pre-FEED activities. Based on the assessment of the extensive design and survey campaign results performed by IGI Poseidon, DNV reviewed the project’s current status from a technical point of view and underlined points to be addressed as the project is completing its Front End Engineering Design (FEED) phase.
On 10 June, 2022, DNV re-issued the Feasibility Statement following the assessment of the Front End Engineering Design documentation provided by IGI Poseidon S.A. up to date. This independent appraisal confirmed the technical maturity of the project and the benefits of the early involvement in the design activities of the offshore construction companies, thanks to competitive dialogue established under the ongoing tender process.
“Projects like EastMed benefit from our extensive experience in technology development and verification of deep- and ultra-deepwater gas pipeline projects throughout their lifecycle. Over the past decades, DNV has been involved in a number of highly successful projects, including the likes of the Perdido Norte large-diameter pipeline and the Tahiti-Amberjack pipeline in the deep water Gulf of Mexico, contributing to the consolidation and upgrade of safety and integrity standards for offshore pipelines – which is why a majority of current and new developments are designed to our standard”, declared Santiago Blanco, Executive Vice President and Regional Director for Southern Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America, Energy Systems at DNV.
“The EastMed Pipeline, together with Poseidon Pipeline, is the most mature project in the Mediterranean area, being now in the final engineering phase, and will reach the start of the commercial operation in 2027. It will directly connect Europe to the natural gas fields in the Eastern Mediterranean basin, also creating opportunities for access to new hydrogen production sites in that area. The Project will provide Europe with a new route of gas supply, complementary to LNG, enhancing the energy security and diversification of sources. IGI Poseidon strongly believe in the importance of this realization, in the interest of the European Community and of the entire East Mediterranean region.” stated Fabrizio Mattana, Chief Executive Officer of IGI Poseidon.
IGI Poseidon S.A. is currently finalizing the development activities of the project and aims at reaching the conditions required for a positive Final Investment Decision (FID) within 2022.
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About IGI Poseidon S.A.
IGI Poseidon S.A., a 50-50 Joint Venture between Greek company DEPA INTERNATIONAL Projects S.A. and Italian company EDISON S.p.A, has been supporting for several years the development, construction and management of key energy infrastructures in Southeast Europe and the Mediterranean area. Notably, the EastMed Pipeline, with the aim of completing the timely completion of missing interconnections in that quadrant and ensuring continued access to energy sources within or close to the EU borders and the Greece-Bulgaria interconnection project, called IGB, which is expected to be in operation by the end of the year.
About the EastMed-Poseidon Interconnector
EastMed-Poseidon is an energy interconnector, that will link the European markets to the natural gas fields in Eastern Mediterranean basin and future hydrogen production sites under development in the area. For its contribution to the European Union’ objectives on energy security and diversification of sources and routes, the Project has been recognized as a Project of Common Interest, its development is supported by EU Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) Programme and it is part of RePowerEU.
The EastMed-Poseidon interconnector thanks to its maturity and early involvement of the industrial construction companies could start the commercial operation in 2027, in line with European energy strategy to establish long term partnerships with new reliable suppliers, and represents the most efficient energy infrastructure, to connect Mediterranean sources to European final users.