articles | 20 February 2017

Energy Minister bets on LNG option

Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis is moving quickly with LNG plans for Cyprus, following the completion of a study into the best options for liquefied natural gas as an energy alternative.

The study was carried out by Gaffney, Cline & Associates, handpicked by state-owned Natural Gas Public Co (DEFA) and tasked with carrying out an independent study into producing LNG.

Lakkotrypis, who received the study on Thursday, wasted no time in asking DEFA board members to meet the foreign consultants on Friday.

The minister says the public bid for constructing the storage and liquefaction facility is “crucial” and requires preparation.

“The choice between a land-based terminal and a floating unit, or any other technical method, will depend on the conclusions of the study,” Lakkotrypis said.

The year 2020 is an important point of reference in introducing natural gas for domestic or industrial use, as Cyprus would start paying penalty fees for pollution from traditional electricity generation.

While producing LNG is not currently an official priority for the government, some experts argue it could serve as a backup for importing natural gas for domestic use as well as possibly boosting natural gas exports as long as Cyprus ends up with a lot more gas to liquefy.

But other experts warn that producing LNG is terribly expensive while global sales prices have gone down due to tough competition. In other words, the cost of production for LNG might not justify the cost for setting up an LNG scheme altogether.

Another option is being considered for bringing natural gas to Cyprus, which is through a pipeline that potentially could be used to transfer Cypriot gas to Turkey and beyond. But this is not on the agenda due to being politically non-feasible for now.

Source: InCyprus

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