Cyprus Mail

Plan for post-refinery era moving ahead

File photo

Members of the public will have until the end of April to submit proposals on developments for the Larnaca seafront where strategic oil reserves were stored until they were transferred to Vasilikos.

Briefing citizens, Larnaca mayor Andreas Louroutziatis and Livadhia deputy mayor Nikos Gianakou expressed satisfaction that the future of the former refinery – spanning about four square kilometers and 3.2 km of coastline -was in the hands of local governance.

“After about 70 years living with the presence of oil refineries, there is a district plan.”

Members of the public will be able to submit their proposals or opinions online through the Larnaca and Livadhia municipality websites or directly from the town planning council.

“For years now, the general Larnaca area, trapped between industrial zones, was looking for a way out and develop its potential in the tourism sector,” Gianakou said.

The reserves, held by KODAP (Cyprus Organisation for the Strategic Management of Oil Stocks) were stored in the state fuel storage company’s facilities (KETAP) in Larnaca. Their operations however have been terminated and private companies moved to the Vasilikos new energy zone, he added.

Once the town planning council evaluates all proposals, the public hearing, local authority presentations and more material, it will conduct and environmental study sending a finalised proposal to the interior ministry.

The plan is to showcase the role of the area, restore the environment, create more investment opportunities and boost infrastructure.

Louroutziatis told reporters Larnaca municipality had received an application from Exxonmobil to begin dismantling four barrels and other supportive infrastructure.

“We are waiting for all the companies to submit the relevant demolition applications by January 2017,” he said.

Moving the reserves from Larnaca, was the subject of a cabinet decision in July 2014, in response to the long-standing demand by residents. The relocation of strategic oil reserves from the Larnaca seafront to the Vasilikos Energy Centre was completed in August.


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