Energy Minister George Papanastasiou said on Sunday that “there is light on the horizon” regarding the construction of the liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in Vasiliko.

Speaking after a church service, Papanastasiou said there is light on the horizon from his contacts with the Chinese ambassador, and the two companies, Cyprus’ natural gas infrastructure company (Etyfa) and the Chinese state-owned company CPP Metron (CMC).

Asked by journalists to comment on the latest developments regarding the terminal at Vasiliko, Papanastasiou said that consultations are taking place at various levels, both diplomatic and technical.

“We, as the Republic of Cyprus, are trying to help exactly this dialogue which is taking place at a technical level between the two companies and we are in a direction which should implement the Vasiliko terminal because the Republic of Cyprus needs it,” he said.

The reason why the Vasilikos terminal is so important, he continued, is because it is the first way of importing natural gas, LNG, to reduce the cost of electricity.

Asked if any timetable has been set, Papanastasiou said “we have set an internal timetable that within June a decision should be made. Of course, these timetables are very much dependent on the other side.”

On Saturday, President Nikos Christodoulides said there are no discussions of a “velvet divorce” with CPP over the Vasiliko LNG terminal.

“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).