Cyprus Mail

Kassinis announces his intention to resign

Solon Kassinis, a hydrocarbons expert and former govt technocrat

Executive vice-chairman of the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company (CNHC) Solon Kassinis on Friday announced his intention of resigning, citing above all, the fact that he was excluded from a team appointed last week by the cabinet to negotiate with Cyprus’ US and Israeli partners on the development of natural gas within Block 12.

According to Sigmalive news portal, Kassinis, who was formerly the director of energy at the commerce ministry, told Sigma TV on Friday that when he took over at CNHC, known in Greek as KRETYK, in March he had prepared a plan to create a negotiating committee.

He also said he thought international consultants should also be hired. But he said nothing happened.

“Everything you need for the company to work effectively was sent to the ministry,” a clearly irritated Kassinis said, adding that valuable time had been lost.

But what annoyed him most was being excluded from the negotiating team appointed by the cabinet last week, he said.

“This exclusion was the biggest insult,” he said.

Kassinis said he intended to submit a written resignation to the president next week but added that he would always be available if needed, even from a position in the private sector.

Last week, the cabinet appointed on the negotiating committee, Stelios Chimonas (chairman), permanent secretary at the trade and energy ministry; Nora Nicolaidou, state’s attorney; Stelios Koundouris, treasury accountant; Eleni Vasiliadou, chairman of the Natural Gas Public Company; Odysseas Michaelides, head of the department of control, ministry of communications; and a representative from the Cyprus National Hydrocarbons Company.

According to an official announcement, the team’s task will be to negotiate the “advent of natural gas from Block 12…as soon as possible” and “the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas plant at Vassilikos and the drafting of any additional agreements that may be required for the construction and operation of the plant.”

Also participating in the team’s meetings will be observers from the Attorney-general’s office and the Auditor-general’s office.



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