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Work to dismantle Larnaca oil installations due to begin

THE process of dismantling and removing the oil and gas installations in Larnaca is about to start, Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras announced on Thursday, urging that the work be completed as soon as possible.

The contractor, the Italian company General Smontaggi will install specialised equipment necessary for the removal of the oil tanks and the cleaning of the area as a preliminary measure.

According to manager of the state fuel storage company (Ketap) Chrysis Hadjigregoriou the first phase of the project will start in early February.

During the first phase, which is expected to be completed within three to four months, 137,000 cubic metres of oil storage tanks and seven kilometres of pipework are going to be dismantled.

The second phase entails cleaning the subsoil of the former installations. As there is no clear picture regarding leaks that may have occurred in the past and to what depth the cleaning must be done it is estimated that this part of the work will be much more time consuming than the first phase.

Hadjigregoriou expects that it may take more than two years.

The third phase will include, inter alia, the removal of the concrete facilities of Ketap which are used by private oil companies.

In a statement the Larnaca mayor expressed his satisfaction with the start of the project. Like the manager of Ketap he said he expects the process to take several years and thus wants it to start right away.

“Taking into account these data all private oil companies should plan to move from our waterfront as soon as possible. Until January 31, 2017 a ministerial decree providing for movement of liquid fuels and LPG from the seafront of Larnaca is in place,” Vyras said.

He added some compensation should be given to the Larnaca municipality while everyone should feel the pressure to move. “Unfortunately, we do not have a clear picture of whether and when the private oil companies will finally leave Larnaca,” he noted.

There should be specific measures and fines in place so that the installations will be moved, something that should have happened years ago, he went on to say.

A meeting of the companies and relevant government departments which is planned, is going to determine what action the municipality will take next, depending on what can be agreed with the interior ministry and what the intentions of the companies are.

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