LNG Journal editor
Cyprus has held a foundation stone-laying ceremony at the site of the Mediterranean Island’s first LNG import terminal being built at Vasilikos port near Limassol by a Chinese company and partly financed by the European Union.
Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades led the event at the Vasilikos Energy Park on the south of Cyprus and said the facility puts Cyprus on the track of a new energy era.
“I would say that this is a really historic landmark, since it officially marks the materialization of an ambitious project of strategic importance and of national dimensions,” said Anastasiades.
“With the laying of the foundation stone, a lengthy effort to bring natural gas to Cyprus has finally come to an end,” noted Anastasiades.
“It was an effort marred by a multitude of problems, sometimes due to expediencies or red tape,” he stated.
The project will comprise a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU), a jetty, mooring facilities, a pipeline on the jetty and other onshore and offshore related infrastructure.
The Cypriots are also currently in the process of inviting expressions of interest for the supply of LNG.
Around 25 companies have expressed an initial interest and the supply contracts are expected to have a duration of between three to five years.
The terminal will cost €289 million ($326M) to construct and the contract is in the hands of a joint venture comprising China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering, a subsidiary of China National Petroleum Corp., and Greece's Metron SA.
Another Chinese company, Hudong-Zhonghua Shipbuilding was awarded the management of the project, in association with Wilhelmsen Ship Management of Norway.
The Natural Gas Public Company of Cyprus (DEFA) is also involved in the overall development process for the terminal.
The ceremony at Vasilikos was attended by local and foreign officials, including the Chinese Ambassador Huang Xingyuan.