Cyprus Mail

Larnaca wants fuel storage terminals moved in 15 days

Photo: CNA

Larnaca municipality has sent a letter to several government ministers asking them to resolve issues regarding the relocation of the petroleum and LPG facilities from its coast to Vasilikos within 15 days.

On Thursday, the municipality announced that a meeting of the interministerial committee on the relocation of the installations was held on Monday at the office of the ministry of energy, trade and industry.

Following the meeting, the municipality sent letters to the energy, finance, interior, transport, communications and work, justice, agriculture ministries and the welfare and social insurance department, in which it noted that despite some progress, there are still significant delays regarding the move.

“The position of the head of the Cyprus port authority is that the port of Vasilikos will not be able to meet the expected increased needs with the transfer of the ships which will discharge Petrolina’s liquid fuels and which are currently docking in Larnaca, destroying all hopes for the smooth operation of the installations until the construction of the new docking area,” the announcement said.

Therefore, the municipality said in its letter, “an investigation by the ministry of energy is required in order to avoid issues that will make it difficult for the new facilities to function properly.”

At the meeting, the department of labour inspection brought up the subject of significant modifications to the proposed LPG facilities prior to their operation, saying that this would bring about significant changes to licensing and cause a considerable delay in reassessing the safety regulations and requirements.

“The issue is very serious and should be dealt with directly by the authorities.”

According to the municipality, the letter also states there was a delay in the finalisation of planning and the submission of applications for the construction of the Hellenic Petroleum terminal.

“The city council considers the personal intervention of the Minister of Energy as well as of the other competent ministers necessary for investigating the issues, to ensure any clarifications are made and problems are solved. Due to the significance of the issues and the probability that if they are not solved, serious delays will occur in the agreed timetables, the Larnaca municipality considers that within 15 days the above issues need to be resolved.”

Larnaca municipality has repeatedly urged the government to stick to the timetable for moving the oil and LPG facilities.

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 of the fuel storage facilities from Larnaca.

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.

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