ATHENS- Greece and Egypt on Thursday clinched an agreement that sets the stage for an undersea cable that will transmit power produced by renewables from North Africa to Europe, the first such infrastructure in the Mediterranean.
Greek Energy Minister Kostas Skrekas and his Egyptian counterpart, Mohamed Shaker, signed a memorandum of understanding for the project at a ceremony in Athens.
"Such an interconnection it's a win-win for both Greece, Egypt and the European Union", Skrekas said.
He said that the project will help build an Eastern Mediterranean energy corridor and improve security of energy supply in the region.
The deal comes as Greece, Cyprus and Israel plan to build the Euro-Asia Interconnector, the world's longest and deepest underwater power cable crossing the Mediterranean, at a cost of about $900 million.
The Greek-Egyptian memorandum establishes a high-level working group of senior officials, representatives of the power grid operators and energy regulators.
The group will examine means and financing for the implementation of the project and facilitate the timely granting of permits and approvals, necessary the feasibility studies, Skrekas said.
"We are at the beginning of an important project and I am sure we will all make our best to see it succeeding as soon as possible."
As part of the project, Cyprus is due to sign a similar agreement with Egypt on Saturday.
"The electrical interconnection between Egypt and Greece will achieve ... a well-connected network across the Eastern Mediterranean", Egypt's Shaker said, adding it will enhance the penetration of green energy in the European Union's power generation mix.
The agreement further strengthens ties between Greece and Egypt, which last year signed an accord on their maritime boundaries, giving them rights over natural resources.
(Reporting by Angeliki Koutantou; Editing by Steve Orlofsky) ((firstname.lastname@example.org; +30 2102214608; Reuters Messaging: email@example.com))