Italy, Israel, Greece and Cyprus pledged Monday to move ahead with the world's longest undersea gas pipeline from the eastern Mediterranean to southern Europe, with support from the European Union.
If carried out as planned, the long-discussed $6.2 billion pipeline would take gas from Israel and Cyprus's recently discovered offshore gas reserves to Europe and could help reduce the continent's dependence on Russian energy at a time of ongoing tensions.
In a joint news conference in the Israeli commercial capital Tel Aviv, energy ministers from the four nations, as well as the EU's Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete, pledged their commitment to the project.
Feasibility studies had been completed, the ministers said, but work on developing it would not begin for several years - with current expectations for it to go online in 2025.
"This is going to be the longest and deepest sub-sea gas pipeline in the world," said Israeli Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz (Likud).
Gas prices have fallen, however, and the project's financial feasibility is based on expectations they will rise again, Elio Ruggeri, chief executive of IGI Poseidon - one of the companies developing the plan - told AFP. READ MORE