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    Contractors to be Shortlisted for EastMed Pipe


The plan is to take a final investment decision in 2022.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Contractors to be Shortlisted for EastMed Pipe

Greece's Depa and Italy's Edison plan to shortlist two contractors for construction of offshore sections of the EastMed gas pipeline, planned to carry eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe, Depa said on April 30.

The pair's 50:50 joint venture IGI Poseidon intends to pre-select the contractors for engineering, procurement, installation and commissioning of four offshore legs of the pipeline with a total length of 1,470 km, at a cost of €3bn ($3.3bn). Depa did not disclose a timeframe for the selection process.

Greece, Cyprus and Israel signed a preliminary deal in January to build the EastMed pipeline, which will have a total length of 1,900 km and pump up to 10bn m3/yr of gas. The pipeline is to bring gas to Greece and elsewhere in Europe from fields in the Levant basin off Israel and Cyprus.

EastMed, whose total cost is estimated at $6-7bn, has been listed as an EU project of common interest. So far €70mn has been spent on technical, economic and environmental studies for the project, around half of which came from Brussels. The aim is to take a final investment decision in 2022.

Beyond concerns about whether there is sufficient gas demand in southern Europe to justify the pipeline, another obstacle is opposition from Turkey, which has been condemned internationally for drilling in Cypriot waters. Ankara says it is protecting the economic interests of the de-facto Northern Cyprus state.

"The implementation of the project goes ahead despite the big turmoil that the [Covid-19] pandemic has caused to the world economy and the energy market,” Greek energy minister Kostis Hatzidakis said in a statement, shared by Depa.

The Greek firm earlier signed a letter of intent with Energean Oil & Gas to buy 2bn m3/yr of gas from the latter's fields off Israel.