Letter of the General Secretary of AKEL to the President of the Republic of Cyprus on energy security issues

20 January 2022, AKEL C.C. Press Office, Nicosia

In a letter sent yesterday to the President of the Republic, the General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL, Stefanos Stefanou, requests a meeting with him to discuss the serious dangers to the country’s energy security, as a result of the delay in the arrival of natural gas and the situation facing the Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK).

The letter is attached:

“The delay in the arrival of natural gas is causing numerous problems and high costs in the generation of electricity.

The decision of the Council of Ministers that natural gas would be available for the generation of electricity from 1 January 2020 has not been implemented. The Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) subsequently announced that the arrival of natural gas would be achieved in the summer of 2023. Now we see reports in the press that there may be further delays and that the company contracted to build the vessel on which the regasification of liquefied natural gas (FSRU) will take place is requesting additional multi-million euros to complete the project.

The long delay in the arrival of natural gas for the generation of electricity, together with the big problems AHK faces, raise, in our view, major issues for the country’s energy security, as well as unsustainable costs for the consumer. It should be noted that for two years now, the bill for the transformation of DEFA into a Public Law Organisation, which is a necessary precondition for the introduction of natural gas for generation of electricity, has been pending.

The structural problems in AHK place it in a difficult position in view of the full operation of the competitive market, the full operation of which is expected next autumn. The understaffing of AHK, the failure to promptly fill a number of managerial positions, the delay in the modernisation of the production units, the need to strengthen and maintain the transmission and distribution networks pose serious dangers for our country’s energy security.

Moreover, the failure of AHK to engage in renewable energy sources, the obstacles placed in this direction by other state bodies and the actions taken to exclude the Authority from energy storage unfortunately undermine the ability of AHK to operate successfully in a competitive market for the benefit of consumers.

The long delay in the arrival of natural gas is estimated to cost approximately seventy million euros annually, which is borne by consumers.

We request a meeting with you to discuss this matter.

We look forward to your positive response.

Yours sincerely,
Stefanos Stefanou
General Secretary of the Central Committee of AKEL”

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