China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering (CPP), building the €300 mln Vassiliko LNG terminal, pledges to bring natural gas to Cyprus in June 2023 after some delays in the schedule due to COVID-19.
The terminal will take longer to complete due to the pandemic as the original timeframe was end 2022.
Speaking to CNA, deputy managing director of CPP Duan Bingquan said the terminal at Vasiliko is a very important project.
A consortium led by CPP signed a contract to construct the infrastructure to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) at Vassiliko port for electricity generation, the biggest ever energy project in Cyprus.
The LNG Terminal will include a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a jetty for mooring the FSRU, a jetty-borne gas pipeline and related infrastructure.
The project estimated at €290 mln has secured a €101-million grant from the EU under the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) financial instrument.
The rest of the financing comes from the Cyprus Electricity Authority’s participation in the share capital of the Natural Gas Infrastructure Company (ETIFA), with €43 mln, and financing by the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, with €150 mln and €80 mln, respectively.
CPP, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corporation, specializes in petroleum storage and transportation.
Domestically, it has more than 85% of the marketing share pipeline projects in China and has been an international player for 25 years with projects in the Middle East, especially Africa, Europe, and North America.
“For CPP, this is an important project, and we are fully aware of how important it is for Cyprus as well.”
Duan said: Gas is a very important channel for the usage of energy.
“Gas is greener and cleaner, so it is very important to introduce gas to Cyprus to benefit the region.”
“It is very common to have concerns for gas usage, but gas is a reliable and safe energy internationally and is commonly proven and widely used”.
CPP will provide proper training for operation and maintenance.
“Also, with the introduction of gas to Cyprus, definitely new companies will put more investment in this industry as well, so we also improve the usage of gas here.
“In the long-term, citizens will benefit.
“With gas, you have options and alternatives. It will be more reliable and more sustainable energy for Cyprus”.
After signing the contract, CPP bought a vessel that is now in the Shanghai Cosco shipyard, and the conversion work is in full progress.
For the jetty and the related onshore-offshore work, “we are also in progress”.
“Despite COVID-19, from the client-side, the DEFA side, the contractor side, we are doing all that is possible to mitigate the impact on the project.
“According to the latest schedule, the delivery of this project will be the end of June 2023”.
The pandemic is one of the main reasons for this delay, he said, and also for a big project like this, the bureaucratic procedures are also normal.
“This new delivery date I believe is achievable; we are also committed to delivering the project as we promised with the support from all the parties, particularly from DEFA”.
CPP has only sent four Chinese nationals to Cyprus and uses mostly Cypriots and Europeans as there is a strategy to localize.
“We reduce friction between the two parties. We have very efficient communication, even if we face some difficulties, which are normal for a project like this.
“The target is to deliver this project and deliver gas to Cyprus as promised.
“I am confident that we can find a way, the proper solutions to face the challenges and find the solutions for the problems we face and keep the promise”.