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Focus is on completion of Vasilikos terminal, Energy Minister says

The government is set on the completion of the LNG import terminal project, either by continuing to work with the contracting company, or by terminating the contract and continuing in another way, Cyprus’ Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry, George Papanastasiou, has said.

Speaking on 14 February, he noted that the aim was the completion of the terminal so that natural gas could be used in power generation, which would reduce pollutants by 25 to 30%, meaning lower costs for consumers.

In his statements to journalists after participating in a meeting of the House Committee on Development Plans and Public Expenditure Control, which examined the Auditor General's report on the specific project, Papanastasiou said that the government was focused on how to implement the import of natural gas through this terminal, “which means to complete the specific terminal, for the floating regasification unit to come to Cyprus so that both can start operating.”

Papanastasiou said that the floating unit in China was 95% complete, and that the specific vessel was awaiting certification for two roles, for natural gas gasification and for the transport of liquefied natural gas. Until this certification is done, the Republic of Cyprus cannot receive the vessel, he noted.

The land terminal, in Vasilikos, in the Larnaca district, the Minister said is consisted of two parts, the platform, which is completed by one third, and the ground facilities which are completed by 40%. Overall, he said, the project, a floating unit and a land terminal with a jetty, was 70% completed, but this was not enough to operate and serve its purpose.

His Ministry’s goal, he said, was the terminal's completion, “so that we can move quickly to the use of natural gas in power generation, which will reduce pollutants by 25-30%, which will mean lower costs for electricity consumers”.

Papanastasiou said that the completion of the terminal can be done either with the same contractor, after the negotiation is done, or the contract should be terminated and the project completed with other solutions. He said that there would be some developments regarding the issue in the coming days.

The Minister said earlier in the month that the contractor had requested multiple extensions. Initially scheduled for completion in September 2022, the project's deadlines were extended to July 2023, then October 2023, and subsequently to July 2024. Papanastasiou had noted that the suspension of terminal construction works, constitutes a breach of the contract, while that, in a recent arbitration, a list of works amounting to over €200 million, which Cyprus believes lacks documentation, was presented by the contractor.

The Minister had said that contract clauses allow Cyprus to claim compensation for delays and the contractor's failure to complete the project.

(Source: CNA)

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