Cyprus could become one of the major natural gas liquefaction terminals in the world, Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Neoclis Sylikiotis has stressed.
Sylikiotis said Friday that the creation of a liquefying natural gas terminal in Vassiliko (Larnaca district) will be the greatest investment in the history of the Republic.
Speaking at a press conference on government energy policy, Sylikiotis said the terminal in Vassiliko will constitute a safe way to export Cypriot natural gas to European and international markets.
He said that work on the construction of the terminal will begin by the end of 2014/beginning of 2015, in order to be functional in mid 2019 for the transportation of natural gas to international markets.
“Our objective”, he said, “is for the Cyprus gas liquefaction terminal to host our own gas which we will transfer to international markets, as well as the natural gas of Israel, Lebanon, and other countries in the region”.
As regards oil, he said the government is going ahead with the construction of a state oil terminal and is engaged in negotiations with a Dutch company. At the same time, there is a private oil terminal under construction.
"These two will turn Cyprus into a major trade hub for oil”, he noted.
The Minister also referred to the second licensing round for the exploration and exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
He said that the results of the second licensing round have exceeded all expectations and noted that the procedures followed have been transparent and impartial.
Sylikiotis recalled that the government has recently signed contracts with the consortium EMI/Kogas for blocks 2, 3 and 9 in its EEZ, receiving 150 million euro, while in the coming days it is expected that contracts will be signed with TOTAL for blocks 10 and 11.
He also said that Kogas is the biggest buyer of liquefied natural gas in the world.
"The major benefits for our country are yet to come," Sylikiotis stressed, adding that the profit for the state from the exploitation of its hydrocarbon reserves would exceed 70 %, which would be “among the highest in the world”.
According to Sylikiotis, in "the next 2-3 years we will enter a path of growth that would boost employment”.
“As we proceeded with plans to explore our hydrocarbon reserves, we had to deal with Turkey’s threats, but the government, following a serious foreign policy based on international law, was able to secure the sovereign rights of the Republic," he pointed out.
Referring to renewable energy sources (wind parks, photovoltaics, biomass), he said that their contribution in energy consumption reached in 2012 8.6%, exceeding the national target of 4.92%.
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