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Cyprus Business Now: energy market and shipping industry updates

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The Cyprus shipping industry met with the International Chamber of Shipping (ICS) on Tuesday, September 14, to discuss the various technical and environmental issues stemming from the implementation of the pertinent European Union and International Maritime Organization rules.

The ICS is the global trade association for shipowners and operators and represents the world’s national shipowner associations, as well as more than 80 per cent of the world merchant fleet.

The Cyprus shipping industry was represented by the president of the Cyprus Shipping Chamber Themis Papadopoulos, who is also the Chief Executive Officer of Interorient Navigation and Vice Chairman of the International Chamber of Shipping, as well as Cyprus Shipping Chamber general manager Thomas Kazakos.

The Democratic Labour Federation of Cyprus (Deok) has proposed a reduction in fuel taxes and a prudent strategy to curtail inflation and the high cost of living.

Deok attributes the inflation rise to the increase in fuel prices, basic goods and construction materials, attributing blame to the government’s energy policies and a failure to expand renewable energy usage.

“Cyprus continues to meet its energy needs with conventional fuels, performing poorly in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while the rest of Europe is moving in the opposite direction and radically changing its energy map,” a Deok statement said.

“The import of natural gas, which is cheaper and friendlier to the environment, has turned into a farce, while the notorious strategy on the creation of a public transport system has fully collapsed,” the statement added.

Central government workers union (Pasydy) and Cyprus Consumers Union and Quality of Life (Pekpizo) also commented on the issue of fuel and electricity prices in Cyprus during a recent meeting between the two unions.

In a press release by Pekpizo, the union mentioned that the problematic operation of the market in Cyprus leads to ‘the creation of deliberate and/or accidental cartels’ in various sectors.

The two unions also scolded the ‘lack of willingness and inability of public bodies to act in favour of healthy competition and the protection of consumers’.

The new Cyprus Ports Authority president Antonis Stylianou met with the Deputy Minister of Shipping Vassilis Demetriades on Wednesday, September 15.

The meeting was part of the standard set of welcoming meetings between a new Port Authority President and the relevant public officials.

The Limassol port general manager Panayiotis Agathocleous was also present, along with the Deputy Minister’s advising counsellor Andreas Karamitas.

The meeting involved discussions about the further cooperation between the ministry and the authority, as well as the affirmation of the authority’s support in future events organised by the ministry.

VTTI, the parent company of VTT Vasiliko Ltd (VTTV) and one of the world’s leading storage providers for energy and other essential products, recently announced its entry into the renewable natural gas industry via the acquisition of a bioenergy project in Tilburg, the Netherlands.

Following the acquisition, VTTI will construct a new state-of-the-art bioenergy facility of industrial scale, expected to become operational in the third quarter of 2023, which will generate 23 million cubic metres of biogas per year by processing organic waste and side streams.

“In line with this move towards decarbonisation and zero emissions, we as VTTV have already demonstrated our ambition to contribute to the energy transition”, VTTV Managing Director George Papanastasiou said following the news.

“It has been well-documented that VTTV has made its jetty available for two major project proposals which would have significantly expedited Cyprus’ transition towards transition fuels and renewables, and specifically the supply of Natural Gas (NG) for use in the local market,” Papanastasiou added.

“The VTTI New Energy strategy provides us with the platform through which to realise our commitment towards the energy solutions of tomorrow that will ultimately benefit the citizens of Cyprus”, Papanastasiou concluded.

The Cyprus Stock Exchange (CSE) ended Wednesday, September 15, with losses.

The main Cyprus Stock Market Index was hovering at 67.52 points by 12:30 during the day, reflecting a decrease of 0.34 per cent over the previous day.

The FTSE / CySE 20 Index was at 40.36 points, representing losses of 0.35 per cent. The total value of transactions came up to €20,805.

In terms of sub-indexes, the hotel index moved downwards by 3.15 per cent, the biggest drop among sub-indexes.

The biggest investment interest was attracted by Hellenic Bank (-0.92 per cent), the Bank of Cyprus (-0.47 per cent), and Logicom (€3,498 worth of transactions, no change).

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