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DEFA racing against time to meet end of 2024 deadline for LNG terminal

The Cyprus Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA) is racing against time to meet a deadline that finishes at the end of 2024 for the conclusion of the Liquefied Natural Gas Terminal in a bid to absorb the balance of the €101 million grant from the Connecting Europe Facility, a DEFA senior official has said.

According to DEFA, pursuant to a decision by the Council of Ministers, the €101 million grant would be utilised as equity financing to the Natural Gas Infrastructures Company (ETYFA) a subsidiary of DEFA responsible for the LNG project.

So far €73.4 million have been acknowledged with €27.8 million remaining.

DEFA said that the remaining amount will be granted under two conditions. The certified expenditure should reach €253.2 million by the end of 2023 and the construction projects should be completed by the end of this year.

However, the project consortium, the Chinese CPP, suspended construction works in late January 2024 due to a dispute with ETYFA and appealed to an arbitration court in London. On 15 March the Minister of Energy George Papanastasiou met with CPP officials and announced that the construction works will resume.

Also read: Energy Minister hopeful that LNG Terminal will be completed this year

Speaking on 19 March before the parliamentary committee on Energy, Marios Menelaou, DEFA General Manager said that 80% of the project is completed so far, whereas certified expenditure amounts to €249.6 million, which means that the EU grant could reach 99.8 million of the €101-million approved grant.

He noted that there was a delay due to the suspension of the construction works.

“We have not been informed over a revised timeframe by the contractor which, I presume they will submit,” he said recalling that the Energy Minister believes that the terminal could be completed by the end of 2024.

“If the timeframe extends beyond 2024 decisions should be taken at the political level,” he added noting that if by the end of 2024 construction works could be certified by the Commission as amounting to 80% of the project, 20% of the remaining grant would be sliced.

Furthermore, Nicolas Valanides, economic director at DEFA, recalled that the authority has received two extensions by the European Commission with the final one ending on December 31, 2024.

“There will be no further extension,” he added, noting that DEFA have made some soundings with the European Commission with regard to the completion of the project.

(Source: CNA)

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