There are no discussions of a “velvet divorce” with Chinese state-owned company CPP over the Vasiliko liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal, President Nikos Christodoulides said on Saturday.

“Efforts continue,” he told a pool of reporters.

Christodoulides was responding to questions linked to a Philelefteros article from earlier in the day that referred to a ‘velvet divorce’ between Cyprus and CPP after months of wrangling over the Vasiliko LNG terminal.

“I would not say we are discussing a ‘velvet divorce’. We continue our efforts. There are three aspects: the ship, the terminal and the floating storage and regasification unit (Fsru).

“We are working towards finding a solution that will allow the project to continue.”

Phileleftheros cited unnamed sources as saying talks were ongoing over how the ‘divorce’ would be finalised.

A potential compromise for the Fsru was open, it said.

Last week, Christodoulides denied the Vasiliko liquified natural gas (LNG) project is “shipwrecked” after widespread speculation that the project’s future was looking increasingly dire.

He had also met Chinese ambassador Liu Yantao with Energy Minister George Papanastasiou for two hours but no statements were made afterwards.

CPP has submitted a statement of claim before a London arbitration court seeking to claim increased costs from the Republic of Cyprus due to technical problems and delays surrounding the project.

The management surrounding Vasiliko has been described as “tragic” by the audit office which said the project has so far cost the taxpayer €542 million due to the increased cost of delays in a process riddled with inaccuracies and serious violations of public contracting that could even involve criminal responsibility.