It is of critical importance that Cyprus develops the necessary infrastructure to exploit its natural gas because at present its hydrocarbons cannot be effectively utilised, Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 19th Annual Cyprus Summit organised by the Economist, he emphasised the importance of infrastructure development for the exploitation of the hydrocarbons in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Papanastasiou pointed out that while Cyprus has significant natural gas reserves, the lack of basic infrastructure prevents their effective utilisation.

“Without the necessary infrastructure, it’s as if those discoveries in our EEZ do not exist,” he said.

Commenting on the broader region, he noted that Egypt is currently facing natural gas shortages and daily power outages. He also highlighted Israel’s efficient use of natural resources, making the country largely energy self-sufficient.

On the contrary, Cyprus faces high electricity costs and has not yet fully utilised its resources in its EEZ due to the absence of the necessary infrastructure, Papanastasiou noted.

He emphasised the need to develop infrastructure to ensure the energy future and economic prosperity of the country.

Referring to the increasing costs related to emissions, which burden the electricity market of Cyprus, the minister revealed that these costs are expected to reach half a billion euros next year, underlining the urgent need to address the issue.