The government will next month launch a tender for the purchase of an FSRU (floating, storage and re-gasification unit) and for related infrastuctures at Vasilikos, a project allowing the island to import liquefied natural gas and use it for electricity generation for the first time.
The news was unveiled at a workshop in Nicosia on Tuesday, where Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis said a separate tender for the import of LNG would be launched by the end of the year.
The project, collectively dubbed CyprusGas2EU, comes under the EU’s Cynergy programme, under the Connecting Europe Facility.
In his keynote address, Lakkotrypis said the project will help Cyprus finally wean itself off conventional fossil fuels, which currently account for approximately 90 per cent of electrical production.
The project consists of an FSRU permanently anchored at the harbour at Vasilikos. Ships bringing liquefied gas will dock at the jetty, and the LNG will be re-gasified on-site so that it can then be transported via onshore pipelines to the nearby power plant.
According to the minister, CyprusGas2EU has received €101m in funding from the EU, accounting for 40 per cent of the total cost of the €250m project.
Once finished, he said, it will have aggregate benefits for Cyprus and Greece, who are partners in the mooted Eastmed pipeline project.
“CyprusGas2EU will enable Cyprus and Greece to pool their efforts for their respective [energy] supply chains, but also to pool their energy and maritime markets,” he noted.
“Essentially we shall be able, where necessary, to trade LNG between the infrastructures at Vasilikos and the [LNG terminal] at Revythousa in Greece.”
For her part, transport minister Vasiliki Antoniadou said the project also provides for the construction of an emergency shelter designed to host the FSRU in case of adverse weather conditions.
Her ministry is further looking into the possibility of creating infrastructures at the site so that ships can be refuelled with LNG directly from the jetty at Vasilikos.
Their vision was to make Cyprus a leader in the Mediterranean in LNG bunkering services.
LNG bunkering is the practice of providing liquefied natural gas fuel to a ship for its own consumption.