Cyprus Mail
Cyprus

House concludes talks on Defa’s status

Parliament on Tuesday wrapped up discussion of legislation aiming to convert the Natural Gas Public Company(Defa) into a state entity governed by public law, with one MP saying that Cyprus needs to without delay switch to natural gas for electricity generation.

Speaking to reporters after a session of the House energy committee, chair Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis explained that the bill will transfer to Defa “all resources, all budgets, all the data, and all responsibilities” in relation to natural gas.

At the same time, current staff at the entity will continue to be employed as part-timers – their status won’t be converted to full-time government employees.

“I consider this approach completely wrong. Staff cannot be absent from work for a single second, as that would disrupt the work of Defa.”

He called on the government to reconsider and fully restore the rights of Defa’s personnel during the planned change in status of the company.

“The employees cannot be left hanging,” he noted.

The MP suggested that any further delays with Defa’s status could jeopardise the mooted switch to natural gas for electricity production.

“We need natural gas to get here yesterday, the day before yesterday even, and no pending issues should be allowed to stand in the way.

“We as parliament did our duty, acting quickly. This is why certain people need to stop moving at a snail’s pace, depriving Cypriot consumers of the availability of natural gas”

Responding to a question about the bill, the MP said that Defa will handle energy matters.

Since there exists a monopoly situation in the market, he said, this monopoly can only be managed by a public-law company.

Defa has been handed a ten-year monopoly over gas distribution and trading in Cyprus.

The entity is tasked with negotiating prices with fuel suppliers for the planned liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal.

The LNG terminal itself – a project awarded in 2019 and run by Defa – has become bogged down due to issues with the contractor.

In late November 2021 Defa’s entire Board was replaced without any explanation provided.

 

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