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Cyprus to announce tenders for natural gas supply May 16, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Energy.

The government is set to invite tenders to bid for the construction of a land terminal in Cyprus to provide the country with natural gas, in an effort to meet its obligations to the European Union, which it joined in May 2004.

Speaking after a ministerial committee meeting on the matter, the Minister of Commerce, Industry and Tourism Antonis Michaelides said the land terminal is expected to be ready in about seven years from now.

“The three units which the Cyprus Electricity Authority (AHK) now operates using diesel or crude oil are expected to be converted to receive natural gas by 2009 when the fourth unit will be delivered,” he said, warning of millions of pounds of losses if these units continue to operate for five or six years on traditional fuel. “The government disagrees with the Electricity Authority on the matter. We have to, through tenders, give the opportunity to anybody who feels they can provide our market with natural gas as early as possible to submit his proposal and we shall decide accordingly,” the Minister said.

Michaelides said that EAC does not agree with this process. “The ministerial committee believes that we have to proceed with all the necessary ground work to construct the land terminal for natural gas but at the same time to see if we can secure the supply of natural gas through a floating unit, since the land terminal is not expected to be ready before 2014-2015,” he explained.

Responding to questions, he said EACshould come out in the open and say that the land terminal can be constructed earlier, if it believes this is so, and it should also explain how this can be done. The Minister said that the timeframe for the construction of the land terminal for natural gas is the reasonable assessment reached by experts in this field and government advisors who have taken all factors into consideration.

“Everybody has the right to his own opinion but what I disagree with is the warning of a strike by AHK personnel trade unions before the government takes its final decision on the matter,” the Minister added.

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