Cyprus energy push despite Turkish threats

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Cyprus is determined to become a regional energy hub, exploiting resources, and ending its isolation, despite threats from Turkey, said President Nicos Anastasiades.

Addressing the annual Cyprus Energy Symposium in Nicosia on Thursday, the President said Cyprus would implement its energy policy as a sovereign and independent state.

“Cyprus does not object to Turkey’s participation in the wider network of energy synergies developed in the area, provided that it stops illegal actions and contesting Cyprus and Greece’s Exclusive Economic Zones,” said Anastasiades.

“We will continue with initiatives to upgrade our energy partnerships with the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean and the EU, honouring our contractual obligations and implementing important agreements the Republic of Cyprus has signed.

President Anastasiades said the ultimate goal is to exploit “our energy reserves and for Cyprus to transition to green energy by enhancing supply, lifting our energy isolation and operating a competitive electricity and gas market, at the lowest possible cost to the consumer”.

Anastasiades said the government makes its energy policies by considering challenges in the sector.

“Our fundamental priorities in this framework are to handle the energy crisis and the role that Cyprus can play in the European energy security”.

He said the EU constantly seeks energy corridors to reduce its dependence on insecure energy sources while stepping up investments in its green transition and developing interconnections between member states.

“Our vision is to create an energy corridor, the East Med Corridor, which will include various resources and routes”.

Anastasiades referred to initiatives undertaken by the government in this direction, such as participation in the East Mediterranean Gas Forum, trilateral partnerships related to regional stability and security and the exploitation of energy resources.

“Meetings held with Energy Commissioner Kadri Simson, during her visit in October and with the companies operating in the Cypriot EEZ, discussed ways to speed up their research programs and the exploitation of the natural gas deposits.”

The President said the government is building up its energy production from Renewable Sources that can also be exported to Europe through electrical interconnections, such as the EuroAsia and EuroAfrica Interconnector.

The EuroAsia Interconnector will connect Cyprus’ electricity grid to those of Israel and Greece, while the EuroAfrica Interconnector will connect the Cyprus, Egypt, and Greece grids.

“Regarding the EuroAsia Interconnector, the foundation stone of which we laid last month, I would like to point out that it is a project that has secured the largest grant ever approved by the EU for energy infrastructures, amounting to €658 mln.

“Cyprus will become a reliable, secure and alternative energy hub to benefit the continent’s energy security and Eastern Mediterranean.”