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CYPRUS: Energy sector key for economic recovery and growth, President says

15 March, 2013

The energy sector is key for achieving the government’s goals of economic recovery and growth as well as for the creation of new jobs, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades has stressed.

In an address, delivered by Minister of Communications and Works Tasos Mitsopoulos, at an official dinner of the 2nd Cyprus Energy Symposium, in Nicosia, President Anastasiades said that “indisputably, the recent discovery of the Aphrodite gas field in Block 12 in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of Cyprus, estimated to hold 7 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, creates new perspectives with regard to putting Cyprus on the European and global energy map”.

The new situation, as it is being shaped today, he stressed, “renders the energy sector as the key for the achievement of our goals for economic resurgence and growth as well as for the creation of new jobs”.

President Anastasiades further pointed out that “energy developments in the Southern Mediterranean, as well as globally, require decisive and essential actions on our part”.

He added that “the significant amounts of natural gas discovered in our region confirm that it constitutes an appreciable energy source both for Europe and globally”.

“Besides, Cyprus, due to our strategic position as well as due to the actions we take on all levels, can and should play a determining role in all these”, he noted.

The President continued by outlining the keystones of the government’s strategy which include “the enhancement of the security of energy supply, the differentiation of the energy balance of the country through the increased use of renewable energy sources and the exploitation of the natural gas reserves found in the EEZ of Cyprus and, finally, turning Cyprus into a regional energy centre”.

“The procedure for the supply of natural gas in Cyprus for the purpose of electricity generation, as an interim solution, until the exploitation of our own natural gas reserves is made feasible, is already underway, in line with the above direction”, he said.

At the same time, he added, “we proceed with the planning of the energy infrastructure required for the exploitation of domestic natural gas reserves, such as the construction of a subsea gas pipeline for the transfer of natural gas to Cyprus and the creation of a liquefaction terminal for exportation purposes”.

“These are, in my view, significant regional projects which, based on the developments in Southeastern Mediterranean, meet all requirements for their interconnection to the great quantities of natural gas existing in the broader region and their forwarding to the European and global market”.

President Anastasiades also spoke of Cyprus’ efforts to develop Renewable Energy Sources, noting that “through their promotion we reach, in essence, the triple goal of strengthening the security of energy supply, achieving our environmental targets of reducing greenhouse gases and, last, creating new jobs”.

“Considering the amount of sunlight our island receives, turning towards green growth could not help but be the only option”, he added.

He spoke in favour of rationalizing “support systems in order to achieve an optimal cost-benefit ratio”, adding that “we also ought to work towards the direction of reinforcing cooperation between EU Member States as well as with third countries, by using the available cooperation mechanisms as provided by the European Directive on Renewable Energy Sources”.

Exploratory drilling by Noble in block 12 revealed a gross mean of 7 tcf. Noble is expected this year to proceed with an appraisal well which would indicate the exact amount of the natural gas reservoir of the initial well.