articles | 21 February 2016

ExxonMobil to relocate Larnaca facilities

ExxonMobil has requested authorisation to begin dismantling a big part of its facilities near the Larnaca port, following a plan agreed in 2000 between the government and municipal authorities.

The oil company giant submitted on Friday arequest for permission to remove four oil tanks and two storage facilities, all of which are very near the port.

Local inhabitants have been demonstrating for at least two decades against oil companies in their town, and an agreement between the government and the city was reached in 2000 that would see all facilities eventually removed from the city.

The request comes only a week after the Municipal Council of Larnaca rejected requests by French Total and Italian ENI regarding the use of support services provided by MEDSERV for their offshore hydrocarbons exploration activities.

The Council’s “no” vote was the result of 13 votes against, 12 in favour, one abstention and one absentee.

Councillors of main Opposition left-wing Akel joined forces with those of centre Diko and socialist Edek to kick the energy companies out of Larnaca. Ruling Disy was all in favour of the extension.

The council’s negative vote was sparked by protests from activists who have opposed any industrial activity.

But others have responded with protests, saying kicking the oil companies out would mean that people would lose jobs.

A relocation of facilities could possibly take place in Limassol for the companies wishing to do exploratory drilling in the area, but the town has signalled it has specific requirements before it can welcome the giants in its half-empty port.

As for ExxonMobil, it is the first private company to take steps towards dismantling its facilities. The company has until January 2017 to complete the move.

Following ExxonMobil’s move as well as the Larnaca Council’s decision last week, it is expected that other private companies, such as Hellenic Petroleum Cyprus and Petrolina, will also follow suit.

Source: InCyprus

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