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Papanastasiou: The barrier has been overcome the way opened for exploitation of the ‘Aphrodite’ deposit

The point on contention that had created some difficulty in the development plan for the ‘Aphrodite’ field has been overcome, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou has reveal, announcing at the same time that the CEO of ENI is coming to Cyprus at the end of April in connection to the ‘Kronos 1’ and ‘Kronos 2’ sites, "and we believe we will hear what the company intends to do."

In statements after the Cabinet meeting on 3 April and when asked if he is optimistic that the difficulties have been overcome regarding the development plan for ‘Aphrodite,’ Papanastasiou said that "the point that created some issue has been overcome and there is a direction based on the agreed-on 2019 development and production plan."

"So let's give it some time and when we are at some stage that will give a specific direction, then we will make more information public," he said.

Asked if there is a timeline for Chevron's response on the optimized proposal to move the effort forward, Papanastasiou said Cyprus wants to respond as soon as possible to start planning the joint venture with Chevron as manager "so that it can give us a direction and some timetable for exploiting the field."

"We have sent what the company is proposing to our overseas advisers, and also to our legal advisers, and in the next few days we will respond," he said.

When asked if the government is satisfied with the provisions of the optimisation proposal, the Minister replied that Cyprus has already exhausted the discussion on this matter with the consortium and it (the company) understands that the basis of the development and production plan of the field will be as it was signed 2019, "so the optimisation essentially gives the consortium the opportunity to give a different direction, but on that basis of the plan."

In response to the observation that he had previously spoken about cooperation and if it still exists, Papanastasiou replied that he would prefer not to go into details "for the reason that we have decided, within the Ministry, that public statements should be avoided because they cause difficulties along the way and the path is specific."

"The natural gas from this field should be released to the international markets, and we should focus on substance rather than public statements at this stage," he said.

In response to another observation about Plot 12, where there is also a dispute with Israel and when asked if this dispute makes the effort difficult, the Minister of Energy said that the position of the government is that there is no difficulty connected with the small field that is connected to ‘Aphrodite’, but is in Israel's EEZ.

However, he said, in his recent visit to Israel, he concluded with the country's Minister of Energy that this difference should be overcome in the next three months.

"And because on a commercial level it cannot be closed, the companies were given the opportunity here and there to provide the solution and at this moment the decision that was made is that we will proceed with an arrangement between the two states, so that it is indicated to the companies that this will is the solution", said the Minister.

Regarding the ‘Kronos I’ and ‘Kronos II’ fields, the Minister said that the President of the Republic has been informed by the CEO of ENI that he requested a visit around the end of April "and there, we believe, that we will hear what the company intends to do, in terms of development and production plan."

Sponsorship plan for a circular economy

In the meantime, Papanastasiou announced that the Cabinet approved the sponsorship plan for a circular economy for SMEs included in the Recovery and Resilience Plan of Cyprus for the period 2021-2028 and will be financed by the EU Recovery and Resilience mechanism.

He said that the total amount of funding is €14.4 million and each company can draw €400,000.

The plan refers to recycling, for example, the recovery of materials from waste for use in new products, changing the use of products, remanufacturing, repairing a product, repairing and maintaining a product or its parts, reusing a product, increasing efficiency and rethinking the way products are used, and removing or replacing utility product with another type of product.

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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