The cabinet on Thursday announced the new board of directors at the Natural Gas Public Corporation (Defa), the state-run entity with the exclusive rights to import and distribute natural gas in Cyprus.

The appointees will serve for a period of 30 months.

Energy Minister George Papanastasiou made the appointments recommendation to the cabinet, which endorsed it.

According to a statement, the selection of the new board members came about through the process of the Advisory Council – a new body set up under the present government.

Defa’s new chairman and vice-chairman are Antonis Patsalis and Kyriacos Kouppa, respectively. The other members of the board were named as: Demetris Papapolyviou, Christos Kallis, Giorgos Ashikallis, Nicolaos Morfitis, Thomas Seppos, Anastasia Kalaika, and Michalis Iacovides.

Prior to the cabinet decision and announcement, parliament had been briefed about the new composition of the Defa board.

Established in 2007, Defa is a public-law entity with the state as its sole shareholder. Its chief task is to import natural gas and ensure adequate quantities of it to cover the island’s energy needs. It is also in charge of distributing natural gas to commercial and industrial consumers.

Cyprus currently does not use any natural gas for power generation, relying on heavy fuel oil. According to the latest information, the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal being built in the Vasilikos area will go operational by July this year.

It was way back in December 2019 when Cyprus signed the LNG terminal contract with a Chinese-led consortium. Since then, the contractor has submitted four delivery timetables – September 2022, July 2023, October 2023 and July 2024.