Energy Minister Yiorgos Lakkotrypis has said that the government`s aim is to finalise and sign a contract on developing the necessary infrastructure and the supply of natural gas in the Cypriot market within 2019.
Lakkotrypis was addressing, on Tuesday, an event during which the Electricity Authority of Cyprus` (EAC) annual report for 2018 was presented.
He said the aim is to complete the development project for the necessary 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 consultations with the first tenderer who is first in line, aiming to finalise the contract and sign it within 2019. Referring to the project he added that it is expected to be completed within 24 months. EAC has a 30% shareholding in ETYFA.
The Natural Gas Public Company (DEFA/CYGAS) has published since June 4 this year a preselection of suppliers’ procedure either for the supply of natural gas quantities on the basis of a long-term contract, or for the supply of natural gas through an immediate delivery purchase, on the basis of multiple agreements or both. By September 6, the deadline of the procedure, 25 companies had expressed their interest.
Lakkotrypis said that in the beginning of 2020, both 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 Co Ltd and METRON S.A., together with Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding Co. Ltd and Wilhelmsen Ship Management Limited and had been evaluated as the best candidate for the project, following a recommendation by Cyprus` Auditor General due to her connection with Helector Cyprus Ltd.
The meeting at the Presidential Palace aimed to fast track the procedure after, among other things, a decision by the European Investments Bank to stop funding new projects on fossil fuels, including natural gas from 2022. Cyprus is seeking to be funded by EIB with about €150 million for the project.