ATHENS, April 11 (Reuters) - Greece’s power grid operator has launched an international open tender for a project linking the island of Crete to the mainland grid via undersea cables, the energy ministry said on Wednesday.
The project linking Crete to the Peloponnese peninsula is part of a 2 billion euro ($2.5 billion), 10-year investment plan to connect some of Greece’s islands to the mainland.
The tender, via an e-auction, will be awarded to “the most economically advantageous offer, based solely on the lowest price”, the ministry said.
The Crete link is expected to be completed by 2020 and is budgeted to cost 324 million euros, the ministry said. Crete will also be connected to Athens in a later phase.
Power production on Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, is currently provided by three oil-fired plants that must be shut down to comply with a European Union directive.
Energy Minister George Stathakis said the project would contribute to the “drastic reduction” of electricity costs, improve Crete’s ecological footprint and lead to 215 million euros in annual savings, mainly through lower service charges.
State-controlled grid operator ADMIE was spun off last year from power utility Public Power Corp under Greece’s international bailout. China’s State Grid, the world’s biggest utility, bought a 24 percent stake. ($1 = 0.8081 euros) (Reporting by Karolina Tagaris)