The United States strongly supports the development of the EastMed pipeline that would supply Europe with natural gas from the eastern Mediterranean, the Energy Secretary, Dan Brouillette said this Thursday.
EastMed pipeline has already approval from Greece, Cyprus and Israel; in fact, the project has been on the going for several years. The final decision for investment could come as soon as 2022, and have the project completed by 2025.
The pipeline would help the European continent to diversify their sources for energy. Nevertheless, the European Union has already published its accord for not funding natural gas projects at all, in its attempt to bring down greenhouse gas emissions.
“We are going to continue to work with Israel, Greece and other interested parties to ensure that the infrastructure of the EastMed pipeline will be developed,” said Brouillette.
About the casting doubts of the project, he added: “There is still an enormous amount of interest both from private industry and from governments of the region to see that infrastructure developed and to be developed as quickly as we can possibly do it.”
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EastMed pipeline, Trans Adriatic, and geopolitics
In a broader geopolitical landscape, the U.S. has interest in getting to Greece’s market, previously monopolized by Russia. The strong investment and procurement the U.S. government is giving to Poland’s nuclear plan, is an example of that.
According to experts, gaining a piece of Greece’s market and diversifying Europe’s mix, would leave Russia and Turkey behind. Greece, in this regard, is a key element, for its geographical location and its ports.
That’s why in recent years Greece’s natural gas imports from the U.S. have risen sharply; as the country has developed an 878 kilometers pipeline called the Trans Adriatic Pipeline. The subsea pipe brings Caspian gas to the Greek/Turkish border, and gets it into Italy. It started operations in November.
According to Reuters, Greece would also consider building a regasification unit, for liquified gas, at its Alexandroupolis port. This would enable the feeding of gas to the Trans Adriatic Pipeline and to other infrastructure in Bulgaria.