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Dhekelia residents threaten to shut down power station

ΑΗΚ ΔΕΚΕΛΕΙΑ 2.
The Dhekelia power plant

Residents of areas near the Dhekelia power plant threatened on Tuesday to “shut down” the station, frustrated with what they say are broken promises that the facility would cease to operate by 2019.

The operation of the power plant and its impact on surrounding communities was discussed in parliament. Taking part in the discussion were the community leaders of Ormidia and Xylotymbou.

Both community leaders described as “peanuts” the offsets given to residents since 2016. And, they recalled, the offsets had been given on the understanding and on the condition the plant would have been shuttered by 2019.

Community leader of Ormidia Christofis Kasiaouris asked rhetorically whether the monetary offsets “can offset a lifetime.”

He said the area’s 20,000 residents are at the end of their tether, having anticipated that the power station would have closed by now.

“Instead, it continues to operate. This is why one day we’ll shut down the station, and there will be no electricity for anyone,” Kasiaouris quipped.

Xylotymbou community leader Kyriacos Papageorgiou said they do not agree with the intended upgrade of the power station and its continued operation until 2029.

Media reports say the Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) plans to install two new internal combustion engines at Dhekelia.

It is one of three power plants belonging to the EAC. Located approximately 15 kilometres east of Larnaca, it has a capacity of 460 MW.

Alexis Michaelides, head of the EAC’s Generation Core Regulated Activity, addressed MPs’ demands that the affected communities receive compensation retroactively since 2019, as well as compensation going forward.

“Once we know for certain that the station is going to be upgraded, and when, then we’ll agree to new offsets for the communities,” he said.

To date, he noted, Ormidia has received €1 million in compensation – gone to funding various infrastructure projects such as sports venues and parking lots. The community of Xylotymbou has got €200,000.

Chair of the House energy committee Kyriacos Hadjiyiannis said the power plant – located in a residential area – is directly affecting people’s health.

“It’s more than just breathing in invisible particulates… you can actually see and touch the pollution with your hands.”

Akel MP Andreas Pashiourtides said offsets to the communities should be similar to those paid out to people residing near the Vasiliko power station.

 

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