Cyprus aims to conclude construction works for the Liquified Natural Gas (LNG) terminal in Vasiliko by the end of 2024 as this would assist the efforts to reduce electricity generation costs Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Monday.

Construction works for the LNG terminal was halted in the end of January, with the Chinese-led consortium CPP Metron appealing to a court of arbitration. However, they resumed following a meeting between Papanastasiou and CPP officials recently. The project is included in the EU Projects of Common Interest (PCI) with a €101 million funding.

“We will have the grant and no EU funds should be lost but the most important for us is the introduction of an LNG which will be regasified in the terminal,” he said, adding this would enable the significant reduction of electricity generation costs.

Stating that the highest share of electricity generation currently stems from conventional production, Papanastasiou added that natural gas should be introduced as soon as possible.

He also recalled remarks made at the political level by the consortium’s country of origin, China, adding that these affirm at the political level that the terminal is both important for Cyprus as well as for consortium’s country of origin, China.

Replying to a question on future explorations in the Cypriot EEZ, Papanastasiou said the government awaits the decisions of the ENI-led consortium which has the concession for the Cronos gas field.

Cronos is a gas field in block six of the Cypriot EEZ with an estimated reservoir between 2 and 3 trillion cubic feet. The Eni-led consortium completed an appraisal well (Cronos 2) which confirmed the lateral extension of the Cronos-1 discovery, 3 km away, revealing a net reservoir thickness of 115 meters.

“Cronos has yielded significant results. These results should be linked with a development and production plan as well as other (gas field) situated in the area,” the Minister said.

He also said the ministry is expecting from the Chevron-led consortium to provide an updated and production plan for Aphrodite gas field by March 31, on the basis of the agreed development plan submitted in 2019 which included a floating production facility.