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20 May, 2024
 
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High-Level consortium official to visit Cyprus amid LNG terminal project stalemate

Energy Minister George Papanastasiou announces upcoming visit to break deadlock over vital LNG infrastructure development

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A senior official from the consortium responsible for the construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminal at Vassilikos is expected to visit Cyprus this week, announced George Papanastasiou, Minister of Energy, Commerce, and Industry. The visit aims to address significant delays in the project, pivotal for transitioning Cyprus to cleaner energy sources.

Papanastasiou disclosed the anticipated visit during remarks to journalists following a Council of Ministers meeting. The discussion centered on the stalled construction efforts for the terminal and associated infrastructure in the Larnaca district, which includes a crucial floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU). The government, expressing its concerns over the delays, is set to demand a definitive schedule for resuming operations and warn of a potential termination of the partnership if no progress is made.

Efforts to rekindle the project have included diplomatic engagements, with Papanastasiou noting "productive dialogue" facilitated through the Ambassador of China in Cyprus. The expected visitor, a high-ranking executive from the China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering Co., Ltd. (CPP), part of the consortium, will be presented with the government’s demands and conditions for moving forward.

The minister highlighted the urgency of resuming construction and obtaining certification for the floating unit, emphasizing the broader goal of securing a rapid transition to natural gas to reduce pollutants and lower electricity costs. The LNG terminal is viewed as a cornerstone for achieving these environmental and economic objectives, with Papanastasiou mentioning the favorable market prices for LNG as an opportunity for Cyprus.

In case of a continued impasse, the minister warned of a "plan B" to ensure the project's advancement, underlining the strategic importance of not allowing Cyprus to be "held hostage" by stalled negotiations. The goal is to establish a clear timeline for a resolution, aiming for a mutual agreement or an acknowledgment of irreconcilable differences.

Source: CNA

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Cyprus  |  energy  |  Vasiliko

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