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Chinese Ambassador: Main body of Vasilikos project could be completed end of 2024 - early 2025

The main body of the Vasilikos LNG project could be completed by the end of 2024 or early in 2025, as long as various parties can truly work together with each other, the Ambassador of China to Cyprus, Liu Yantao, has said.

“The Vasilikos project is a bit complicated. Now it has come back on normal track. We are seeing major opportunities and the prospects are bright,” Liu said.

He was responding to questions by journalists, during a media workshop organised by the Embassy of China in Nicosia on the “Two Sessions”, namely the annual session of the National People’s Congress and the annual session of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, which wrapped up earlier this month in Beijing and as the Ambassador said “is an important window for the world to observe and understand China”, its democracy, economy and foreign policy.

Replying to a question about the problems which arose regarding the construction of the LNG terminal by the Chinese CPP-Metron Consortium, the Ambassador noted, speaking through an interpreter, that after the media reports and the discussions made on this issue at the moment we can all understand the cause of the problem and who is to take the responsibility.

He said that last Friday a representative of the Consortium had a very good meeting with the Cypriot Minister of Energy and they reached a very constructive mutual understanding, while last Saturday, President of the Republic, Nikos Christodoulides, paid a visit to the construction site and made a very positive statement.

“The Cypriot government, in particular President Christodoulides, have attached great importance to and greatly supported this project. We highly appreciate this,” he added.

“Because of COVID-19 and because of other matters we have seen some questions about this project. But still good things will happen after many tests,” the Ambassador went on to say.

“I think it is very important for the two sides to bear in mind the larger picture, work together with sincerity, observe the contract and pursue mutual benefit. As far as the two sides could follow such a spirit, they will be able to handle relevant problems and make this project one that delivers benefits for the people, achieves win-win results and demonstrates the friendship between the two countries,” Liu noted.

He said that the Vasilikos LNG terminal is a very good project and there is no such issue as who insults whom. “Both sides are having friendship with each other, both sides are following their contractor obligations and are pursuing mutual benefits,” he noted and expressed hope that the sides will continue to attach importance to and support this project.

“And we hope that this project will be completed smoothly at an early date so that Cypriot people could get access to LNG electricity at an early date and Cyprus will achieve green energy transformation at an early date,” he added.

The Chinese Ambassador also expressed hope that relevant downstream projects could also be put on the agenda, so that the whole project could deliver its results at an early date. He explained that what he means it the establishment of pipelines and the transformation of the power station.

Asked if he can assure that the project will be fulfilled within the deadline, the Ambassador said that “the deadline in the original contract was set for July 2022 and the deadline set in the supplementary agreement was for July 23rd of this year. However, we have experienced so many developments.”

He stressed that “as long as various parties enhance cooperation with great sincerity the project is expected to be completed at an early date. It is very important to properly handle relationships between the various parties. Then the project could be expected to be completed at an early date,” he noted.

He explained that this project has two parts. “One is the FSRU vessel. The project on this is being carried out in Shanghai and over 99.9% of this vessel has already been completed,” he said, adding that it will be able for the vessel to be handed over in April or in May.

The second part is that of the onshore constructions. As the Ambassador noted nearly 50% of the onshore construction project has been completed. He clarified that these onshore facilities do not contain very sophisticated or high technologies.

“Some Chinese workers will soon come to Cyprus to participate in the development of the onshore facilities and with the Chinese efficiency and with the Chinese speed the prospect for this project is very optimistic,” Liu said

He underlined that “as long as various parties can truly work together with each other then I think the main body of the Vasilikos project could be completed at the end of this year or early next year.”

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