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Cyprus

Larnaca concerned over delay in relocating oil storage tanks

Larnaca municipality has urged the government to stick to the timetable for moving oil and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) storage facilities from Larnaca’s coastline to Vasilikos in the Limassol district.

In a statement, the municipality cited concerns over delays in the agreed timeframe for the relocation.

It reminded the government that it was its responsibility to reach agreements with the communities in Vasilikos to be affected by the relocation.

During last week’s meeting of the steering committee – set up to monitor the relocation of the fuel depots – it was established that some progress was being made, but not enough.

Regarding the petroleum depots, two of the fuel companies will not be constructing their own, new facilities at Vasilikos, opting instead to lease existing facilities owned by other companies there.

The other two companies have secured the relevant building permits, and are expected to begin constructing new depots at Vasilikos soon.

On LPG, a consortium comprising three companies has applied for a building licence in the Vasilikos area. The consortium has already placed orders for equipment and materials. A fourth company is lagging behind in securing the necessary permits.

Larnaca municipality said it is closely monitoring developments, expressing the hope that despite observed delays the planned relocations would occur within the agreed timeframes.

It also said it would be holding separate meetings with the fuel companies concerned to discuss the matter.

In June last year, energy minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis submitted a signed memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the cabinet between the government and six private companies for the removal from Larnaca of the fuel storage facilities.

According to the minister, a timetable had been fixed with a deadline of December 31, 2019 for moving the liquid fuels, and for the creation of LPG facilities by December 31, 2020.

Larnaca municipality itself did not sign the MoU, objecting to a clause that gave any signatory the right to opt out of the deal if they wished to, by giving a month’s written notice.

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