Construction works are also progressing rapidly on the land-based section of the Crete-Attica electrical interconnection, following the successful completion of the installation of the project’s submarine cables in March 2023. This was confirmed during today’s inspection by IPTO’s Management at the construction site of the Conversion Station that is being built by the Ariadni Interconnection Group subsidiary, in Damasta, Heraklion, Crete.
The Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis, the Vice-Chairman and Chief Technology, Planning & Strategy Officer of IPTO, Mr. Ioannis Margaris, as well as the Mayor of Malevizi, Mr. Menelaos Bokeas and the President of the Community of Damasta, Mr. Kostas Mavrakis, were given a tour by the Project Manager of Ariadni Interconnection, Mr. Angelos Stamatelos in the premises of the under construction Conversion Station of Crete, which is one of the two ends of the “great” electrical interconnection with the mainland system.
The heads of IPTO’s Management and the Local Government were briefed on the rapid construction progress made in the Conversion Station, as well as on the next steps in the implementation of the country’s greatest electricity transmission project, which is expected to be completed in 2024.
“The construction of the electricity interconnection of Crete-Attica is in full progress and on track with the schedule”, said the Chairman and CEO of IPTO, Mr. Manos Manousakis. “The laying of submarine cables was completed successfully in March 2023, thanks to the dedication and hard work of our employees and partners. We are now focusing on the onshore part of the project, which is being built at a rapid pace both on the Crete side and on the Attica side.”
The Chairman of IPTO expressed his estimate that, despite the technical geological difficulties that appeared, the construction works carried out at the Damasta construction site will be completed by the end of the year. The introduction and installation of the electromechanical equipment will begin soon after, "so that at the end of 2024 we can start trial electrification of the new interconnection and complete this project of which we are all proud."
Two of the accompanying projects implemented on the occasion of the electrical interconnection are of the utmost importance, in Mr. Manousakis’ opinion as, as he said, they will significantly improve the quality of life of the residents in the coming years. In particular, he referred to the opening of roads from the beaching point of the underwater electric cable in Korakia, Heraklion to the Damasta Conversion Station, which will serve the road connection of the area with the North Road Axis of Crete, as well as the upcoming undergrounding of the Transmission Lines in Damasta which will have another beneficial effect for the residents, the removal of the pillars that are currently located near the village.
In addition, the optical fibre cables installed by Ariadni Interconnection within the framework of the two interconnections will significantly enhance the telecommunications connectivity of Crete, creating opportunities for new international, strategic synergies. “This double interconnection will provide energy security to Crete and release its rich renewable potential, making it a strong national and regional electrical hub. Combined with the fibre optic cables we have laid, the island is also developing into an important telecommunications hub. The recent agreements of Grid Telecom with a focus on Crete for the branching of 2AFRICA, the largest undersea fibre optic cable in the world as well as the Greece-Cyprus-Israel telecommunication interconnection, confirm the important role of the island in data traffic in the wider Eastern Mediterranean region and the Middle East”.
IPTO’s sustained support to the local community
Mr. Manousakis also referred to the sustained support that IPTO provides to the local community of Crete and to the close cooperation that it has developed over the years with the Local Government and the residents of the island, and in particular in the area of Malevizio. “IPTO is a company under public control that supports local communities, especially in the areas where it operates, and constantly improves its operation based on the principles of sustainable development. Our cooperation with the residents and local authorities here in Crete is exemplary and is constantly getting stronger.”
“IPTO is practically standing by our side and we sincerely thank it for that. We are proud that the great interconnection between Crete and Attica, this important infrastructure for the energy security of Crete, is being implemented in our Municipality”, said the Mayor of Malevizi, Mr. Menelaos Bokeas. “As a Local Government Authority we have excellent cooperation with the Operator for this project which is being carried out under the best possible conditions for the residents of the area”.
Within the framework of the Corporate Social Responsibility Program, IPTO continues to consistently support the Municipality of Malevizi with a wide range of public benefit projects totalling 3.6 million euros (plus VAT), of which approximately half have already been contracted and the remaining projects are being launched at a rapid pace. This program includes, among other things, road projects, mainly the construction of a roundabout on El. Venizelou Street in Gazi, but also maintenance of rural roads, tourist infrastructure such as the development of a network of paths in the Municipality of Malevizi, school and sports facilities, creation of playgrounds, improvement of infrastructure such as the reconstruction of the Damasta rural clinic, supply of equipment for two more rural clinics, undergrounding of electric networks, reconstruction of the central pedestrian street of Ag. Pelagia which was severely damaged after last year’s floods, restoration of water supply and drainage networks, etc.
IPTO also supports critical health structures in Crete with donations of modern medical equipment to the University General Hospital of Heraklion and the “Venizelio” Hospital of Heraklion, scholarships to researchers of the School of Science of the University of Heraklion, and is also consistently supporting the Social Grocery Store of the Municipality of Malevizi and has also sponsored the local Damasta sports club. In addition, it responds directly to the emergency needs of local residents, as it did in 2021 after the great earthquake in the area of Arkalochori, where it provided temporary homes to quake-stricken citizens.