The energy workshop taking place in Nicosia is viewed as the first significant milestone in shaping the decisions of Cyprus’ future oil and gas strategy.
Minister of Energy George Papanastasiou told CNA this is the first milestone concerning the infrastructure to be created, while the second is his visit to Israel on June 14-15, where he will discuss the natural gas quantities that will flow through the proposed pipeline.
The government will assess the investment interest for infrastructure construction at the Monday-Tuesday workshop such as a pipeline and LNG plant.
As for the natural gas flow in quantities suitable to support the gas transportation project from Israel to Cyprus and subsequently for export to Europe.
The minister will travel to Israel with a team of technocrats and legal experts with knowledge of pipelines.
The workshop “The Cyprus Gateway: Natural Gas to Power and Liquefaction” has attracted significant interest from international companies across the natural gas and electricity value chain.
“We initially aimed to target specific companies operating in the Cypriot EEZ, as they had previously approached us with inquiries regarding infrastructure planning and construction.
“However, there were also pleasant surprises from other companies that had never before shown interest in the Eastern Mediterranean,” Papanastasiou said.
“It appears the Eastern Mediterranean has started to attract attention, and Europe sees it as an alternative energy source that will last for the next decades, despite the existing strategy for green energy.”
He said that the companies that came as a surprise included one or two energy firms and two technology companies, they are highly specialised in their respective fields, and some have connections to Israel.
He added that private companies involved in the supply chain for the specific project to transfer natural gas from Israel to Cyprus would also come from Israel.
The closed-door workshop is expected to last approximately three hours, after which there will be private meetings between some participants and the Ministry of Energy for clarifications and questions.
Papanastasiou said the real interest is anticipated to be formally expressed by companies upon their return to their bases as they evaluate what they have heard.