CYPRUS can develop into an important energy hub in the Mediterranean, transport minister Marios Demetriades said on Thursday, adding that government policy will include Cyprus’ future maritime transport needs for the island’s hydrocarbons.
“Our objective for the future is to consolidate and further develop our role in world shipping and to provide the adequate conditions for a sustainable growth of the shipping sector in Cyprus,” Demetriades said, addressing the opening in Limassol of the East Med Marine and Oil & Gas Exhibition.
The minister said that Cyprus has been firmly established as a reputable international maritime centre combining both a sovereign flag and a resident shipping industry which is renowned for its high quality services and standards of safety, adding that the Cyprus Ship Registry today ranks among the leading registries internationally and has the third largest fleet within the European Union.
Furthermore, he noted that the discovery of hydrocarbons places new challenges to Cyprus’ shipping industry and creates new prospects for the country and its economy, and a whole new industry is currently emerging in Cyprus to meet the needs of the offshore activities.
“Cyprus has the potential to develop into an important energy centre in the Mediterranean. Offshore exploration and production of gas and oil, as well as their transportation ashore, require the operation of specialised ships and equipment and the supply of specialised supporting services. These new developments are very promising and widen the horizons of our shipping industry, creating relevant synergies,” the minister noted.
Besides being a successful shipping centre, he said, Cyprus fulfils the criteria to become a trade hub in the region, as well as a transhipment centre for the Europe-Far East trade, due to its strategic location.