Greece: Two more bidders exit the tender for Ariadne interconnection

Greek construction and energy group GEK TERNA and Italian transmission system operator Terna, two of five qualifiers into the final round of a tender offering a 20 percent stake in Ariadne Interconnection, a Greek power grid operator IPTO subsidiary established for the development of a 1.1 billion-euro grid interconnection to link the power grids of Crete and Athens, have withdrawn from the procedure as a result of their objection to the subsidiary’s statutes restricting the winning bidder to a minority role in Ariadne Interconnection without voting rights or board participation, energypress sources have informed.

The withdrawals of GEK TERNA and Terna come in the wake of Australian fund Macquarie’s recent exit, also prompted by the tender’s minority role offered to the winning bidder.

Macquarie, which had entered the tender for a 20 percent stake in Ariadne Interconnection in partnership with Copelouzos group member Faethon, was replaced by France’s Meridiam Europe.

The newly established Meridiam Europe-Faethon partnership established for this tender and China’s SGCC, holding a 24 percent stake in IPTO, are now the Ariadne Interconnection tender’s two remaining final-round contestants.

Participants have been granted a deadline extension until June 21 to submit their bids.

The Crete-Athens grid link is expected to be electrified by late 2024 and commercially launched in the summer of 2025.

Once Ariadne Interconnection is operating, Crete, Greece’s largest island with a population of roughly 650,000, will receive its electricity from the mainland system rather than from the costly local power plants now operating on the island.

The project, to provide an additional 2.5-GW capacity for RES installations, will enable Crete to reduce its environmental footprint and harness renewable energy potential, reports.


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