The Ministry of Energy and the Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) are planning to announce next month a tender for supply of a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) and the construction of all necessary infrastructure for the CyprusGas2EU project, that will render possible electricity production from natural gas, Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis said Tuesday.
At this stage Cyprus’ electrical grid is isolated and 90% of electricity is produced from conventional fuels, Lakkotrypis told a workshop on Cyprus’ energy future, but with the CyprusGas2EU project electricity will be produced from natural gas, he noted. The project, Lakkotrypis added, will consist of a Floating Storage Regasification Unit (FSRU) that will be permanently docked at the port of Vassilikos. The liquefied natural gas will then be regasified and piped to the Vassiliko power plant, he added.
According to Lakkotrypis, the project has received significant European funding of €101 million from the Connecting Europe Facility. This funding was decided at EU level in January 2018 and corresponds to 40% of the total value of the project, which stands at approximately €250 million, he added.
The CyprusGas2EU project “will have significant benefits for the Cypriot as well as the Greek economy. At the same time, it will have significant aggregate benefits in conjunction with the Eastmed pipeline project, the cross-border gas pipeline that will transport gas from the eastern Mediterranean to Greece and other EU Member States” stressed Lakkotrypis.
The project will be supplied with liquefied natural gas from abroad. The Minister spoke of “a project of particular national and geopolitical importance, as it enables Cyprus and Greece to join forces for their supply chains and also to bring their energy and maritime markets together”.
The progress made so far is particularly important, he noted, and the CyprusGas2EU project is expected to start operating in 2020.
Transport Minister Vassiliki Anastasiadou said that “natural gas liquefied or compressed is a possible solution in order to minimize dependence on liquid fossil fuels and to reduce the environmental impact on the transport sector”.
She noted that “natural gas would have significant economic, socio-political and environmental benefits for the transport sector”.
The Minister stressed the vital role of the ports for islands like Cyprus, noting that if the use of natural gas in the transport sector is limited, there is a direct negative impact on the supply chain and especially on the environment.
“It is clear that in order to meet these requirements and to establish itself in these emerging sectors Cyprus should improve its port infrastructure but also provide support for the use of liquefied natural gas in shipping and for internal use through its harbours”.