The inauguration of the VLPG consortium’s LPG terminal at Vasiliko is not only a boost to the island’s energy hub but was the final step in removing oil and gas storage facilities from the Larnaca coast, opening the way for its development, President Nicos Anastasiades said on Sunday.

He called the move an “historic landmark for the wider area of Larnaca”.

“This is because, in essence, the operation of the LPG terminal marks the completion of the process of moving the oil, LPG and asphalt installations from the Larnaca coastal front to the Vasilikos energy centre,” he said. In addition to the benefits it will bring to the energy hub, “the way is now officially opened for the full exploitation of a degraded for decades area of Larnaca”, he added.

The VLPG comprises Petrolina Public Company, Eko Logistics, Synergaz and Intergaz, which invested in the area to the tune of 35 million, the president said, without any state contribution.

The LPG terminal has a total capacity of 4,000 metric tonnes and a bottling plant and a unit for the maintenance of LPG cylinders.

“It now brings together almost all the energy infrastructure of our island,” Anastasiades added.

In this context, he said, safety was everything for all employees at the energy hub, and the residents of the surrounding area.

To this end, in March 2022, he said, a safety coordinating body was established that includes representatives of residents, along with representatives of the fire brigade, police and port police and the Cyprus Ports Authority, in order to manage and address security issues at the energy centre.

A new fire station, also inaugurated on Sunday, is part of the plan, as are upgrades to the road network. Perimeter fencing will also be installed with controlled entrace gates to the energy centre, along with a police control station.

Other actions related to the energy centre include moving a metal recycling plant from the area as its activities are not compatible. This is expected to be done by March.

A civil defence plan is also in place for the energy hub, along with a safety, health and environmental monitoring committee.

“From the number of the aforementioned actions, as well as the range of government departments and services involved, you can understand the size and complexity of creating and operating the energy centre,” said Anastasiades.

He went on to thank all of the companies that were involved including, Petrolina, Exxon Mobil Cyprus, BP Eastern Mediterranean, Intergaz, Synergas and Iacovou Brothers, as well as the Cyprus Petroleum Storage Company.