CNA News

Energy Min: Cyprus must develop power generation and gas exports infrastructure

It is important for Cyprus to develop both the infrastructure for power generation and an outlet for natural gas exports to international markets, said the Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry George Papanastasiou on Friday, addressing the 14th Limassol Economic Forum.

Starting with developments in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone, the Energy Minister said in his intervention that there are currently conversations with Chevron on the “Aphrodite” field in order to proceed with the development and production plans, while on “Glafkos”, he said that Exxon Mobil prefers to make an announcement following the completion of the appraisal currently underway and the confirmation of existing gas quantities.

“There are quite some natural gas discoveries in Cyprus’ EEZ, however what is missing is infrastructure and this is our major disadvantage,” continued Papanastasiou and added that Israel has the infrastructure that gets natural gas to the country for power generation purposes, while some of the gas coming from the “Leviathan” field finds its way to Egypt and is then being liquified and exported to the international markets, including the internal market of Egypt for power generation. He added that Egypt, the first country that developed infrastructure in the East Med, has two liquefaction plants that the region can use to liquify natural gas and export it to the markets.

Going forward, the government of Cyprus will be in conversations to develop infrastructure in its EEZ, said the Energy Minister, adding that there are currently conversations to get infrastructure connecting “Aphrodite” with Egypt, with part of the product going to the local market and the majority being liquified and exported to the European markets.

Papanastasiou said that another conversation concerns the connection of this infrastructure with Cyprus through a pipeline that will import gas either from the quantities that have been discovered in the EEZ of Israel and/or the connection to discoveries in Cyprus’ EEZ.

He noted that to be able to justify the investments required to connect Cyprus with existing infrastructure in neighbouring countries, an outlet to the international markets needs to be developed and not only to the local market, which is a niche market requiring only 0.7 bcf of natural gas per annum. “It is important that we develop both, infrastructure that will get the product into our conventional power generation and at the same time we need an outlet to liquify the gas and export it to international markets”, he stressed.