DEFA about Cyprus LNG import project: “This time it has to work”

Symeon Kassianides, Chairman of DEFA talks about Cyprus LNG import project and their new tenders in the second episode of BGS Talks talk show. He also shared his approach to encouraging employees to come up with their ideas and suggestions and travelling productively.

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We know that DEFA is currently launching the project that will “end the Cyprus energy isolation”. What does it mean?

Being an island and not having any interconnections in terms of electricity or gas, Cyprus has a very isolated and insecure existence. DEFA has launched the tender to build the infrastructure of LNG supply to Cyprus. It will not end Cyprus’ isolation from the rest of Europe completely, but it will create a virtual pipeline to provide a flow of gas for the electricity generation. It is the first step for Cyprus to go into a more interconnected existence with its neighbours.

Why did you decide to launch this project now? Why not 5 or 7 years ago?

This is the fourth time that we have tried to import gas to Cyprus. The three previous attempts were unsuccessful. This time the project is driven mainly by the tight restrictions for greenhouse gas emissions from the European Union which Cyprus is obliged to comply with. Effectively it provided the driving force for the project to be re-launched and set a tight timeline. DEFA tries to complete the project as soon as possible. We have studied all the previous attempts, identified difficulties and the challenges. It is not about “Why now?”, it is rather “This time it has to work”.

What are the steps of this project? What will be the timing?

On October 5 we announced the tender. It involves the acquisition of an FSRU and the construction of a jetty borne pipeline, onshore metering facilities, pipeline buffer, etc. The Board expects the tenders to be submitted by the end of March or early April. DEFA intends to award the project by July this year and start the implementation immediately.

How do you think, when will the project be finished? When Cyprus will have gas from it?

The timeline is 24 months from the day of signature of the contract. If we award the tenders in July this year, the completion of the work will be not later than July 2021.

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