Cyprus eyes contract on Nat gas infrastructure and supply in 2019

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Cyprus aims to finalise and sign a contract on developing the necessary €300 mln infrastructure and supply of natural gas in the Cypriot market before the year’s end, Energy Minister George Lakkotrypis said.

He said the aim is to complete the development project for the necessary LNG terminal, infrastructure and the natural gas provision process in the Cypriot market for the electricity production purposes by the end of 2021.

According to Lakkotrypis, the Natural Gas Infrastructure Company (ETYFA) is now in consultation with the preferred tender who is first in line, to finalise the contract and sign it within 2019.

He said the project is expected to be completed within 24 months. The Cyprus electricity authority (EAC) has a 30% stake in ETYFA.

The Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA/CYGAS) published a preselection of supplier’s procedure either for the supply of natural gas quantities based on a long-term contract or for the supply of gas through an immediate delivery purchase, based on multiple agreements or both.

By the September 6 deadline, 25 companies had expressed an interest.

Lakkotrypis said that at the beginning of 2020, a competition for the medium-term/long-term supply of liquefied natural gas and an Open Season procedure for potential liquefied gas buyers will be announced.

Sources have said that during a meeting last Friday at the Presidential Palace Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades made it clear that DEFA must go ahead with the procedures for the provision of natural gas in Cyprus, despite problems which have arisen by the exclusion of Aktor from the joint venture.

DEFA had excluded Aktor SA which took part in the joint venture JV China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering and METRON SA, together with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding and Wilhelmsen Ship Management.

The meeting at the Palace aimed to fast-track procedures after a decision by the European Investments Bank to stop funding new projects on fossil fuels, including natural gas, from 2022.

Cyprus is seeking EIB funding of around €150 mln for the project.

Despite Nicosia looking elsewhere, Energean is pushing hard to be allowed access to the Cyprus market so it can sell its Israeli gas via pipelines to Vassiliko by early 2021.

The Greek oil and gas producer has submitted bids to Cypriot authorities to import and supply natural gas to Cyprus from 2021, despite Nicosia already being in the middle of a tender procedure.

Submission of the applications – through its subsidiary Energean International – follows the ‘Karish to Cyprus Preliminary Pipeline Development Plan’ that has already been presented to the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Said Energean last week.