President inaugurates VTT Vasilikos terminal
President Nicos Anastasiades inaugurated the VTT Vasilikos Ltd terminal for the storage and management of petroleum products, which he said was “in line with our own vision to create a hub for trading petroleum products in the strategically important region of the eastern Mediterranean.”
The terminal, with an investment of EUR 300 mln, constitutes the springboard for development in the Vasilikos area and it is the largest private energy project ever constructed in the Republic, he said.
Anastasiades said that due to its strategic location, the terminal connects the markets of Europe and the Black Sea with those of the Middle East and Asia, highlighting its significance for the wider region as deliberations are taking place for upgrade of the Suez Canal to allow ships of larger capacity to pass by this strategic naval passage. The project, he said, also helped the government overcome a longstanding problem in Larnaca where the old refinery and oil storage tanks were based.
Already, the Cyprus Organisation for Storage and Management of Oil Stocks has concluded a three-year agreement with VTTV for the rental of storage space to maintain and manage the national oil stocks that are being kept at the Cyprus Petroleum Storage Company’s facilities.
Anastasiades noted that the cost of storing the national stocks in the VTTV facilities will remain at the same level, while, at the same time, an opportunity has been created to repatriate the reserves Cyprus kept abroad, securing a strategic advantage in case of a sudden energy crisis.
He added that the Council of Ministers has approved a series of compensation measures for the benefit of the eight communities of the area, always in collaboration with the local leadership and in line with their demands.
At the same time he said that the project constituted an economic achievement for Cyprus, as it started in the middle of the economic crisis.
As of Friday, Cyprus officially forms part of the countries where oil is traded for the purpose of reaching the international markets, said George Papanastasiou, Managing Director of VTT Vasiliko Ltd.
He added the project was built by J&P according to the VTTI Group’s highest technological and safety standards, fully financed by the parent company, VTTI B.V. and its shareholders Vitol and MISC.
The terminal consists of 28 tanks, with a total capacity of 544,000 cu.m., a 1.5 kmlong marine jetty and four berths that can accommodate vessels from 5,000 up to 160,000 DWT.
Papanastasiou said that the terminal will be the most competitive oil storage and management facility in the eastern Mediterranean, since the increased costs of other contributors involved in the transport of oil via Cyprus are in the process of being reduced through legislative arrangement.
On his part, Rob Nijst, Chief Executive Officer of VTTI B.V., said that “as investors in the project, we take pride in the completion of the construction of a state-of-the-art, world class terminal, which will support Cyprus’ ambition to become a leading energy hub in the eastern Mediterranean and which will contribute significantly to the Cypriot economy”.
Nijst said that VTT Vasiliko Ltd is a 100% subsidiary of VTTI B.V, a multinational company based in Rotterdam, partly listed at New York Stock Exchange. VTTI owns and manages 12 similar oil terminals on five continents, with a total capacity reaching 8.5 mln cu.m.
Nijst also announced the possibility of further investments in Cyprus, such as the expansion of the terminal and other energy infrastructure projects.