Min­is­ter ready to dis­cuss Li­mas­sol port op­tion

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Trans­port Min­is­ter Mar­ios Deme­tri­ades was quick to re­spond to Mon­day’s nar­row re­jec­tion by the Lar­naca mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil that blocked the use of the port fa­cil­i­ties by en­ergy gi­ants ENI and To­tal, to say that his depart­ment was will­ing to dis­cuss op­tions for their re­lo­ca­tion to Li­mas­sol port.

Deme­tri­ades said that he was will­ing to dis­cuss with the oil ma­jors, that have ex­plo­ration and pro­duc­tion li­censes for four of the off­shore nat­u­ral gas blocks within the Cyprus ex­clu­sive eco­nomic zone (EEZ).

Speakign at the House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives, Deme­tri­ades said that al­ready from Novem­ber 30 French To­tal was briefed by his min­istry that there was po­ten­tial space avail­able at Li­mas­sol port.

He added that the mat­ter is be­ing co­or­di­nated with his col­league, En­ergy Min­siter Gior­gos Lakkotrypis.

With 13 votes against, 12 in favour and one ab­sten­tion, the Lar­naca mu­nic­i­pal coun­cil on Mon­day re­jected re­quests by To­tal and ENI re­gard­ing the use of sup­port ser­vices pro­vided by MED­SERV for their off­shore hy­dro­car­bons ex­plo­ration ac­tiv­i­ties.

To­tal had asked to use the ser­vices for six months and ENI for one more year, with an ex­ten­sion clause for months.

MED­SERV pro­vides lo­gis­tics and en­gi­neer­ing sup­port ser­vices from fa­cil­i­ties lo­cated in the port of Lar­naca.

Var­i­ous or­gan­ised lo­cal and en­vi­ron­men­tal groups have voiced their strong op­po­si­tion, cit­ing risks to pub­lic health and the town’s tourism as­pi­ra­tions.

In state­ments af­ter the coun­cil meet­ing, Mayor An­dreas Louroutzi­atis said that the coun­cil de­cided, by a nar­row ma­jor­ity, to re­ject To­tal’s and ENI’s re­quests.

“I don’t be­lieve this was an easy de­ci­sion, a fruit­ful demo­cratic di­a­logue took place be­fore the vote, we heard the views and pro­pos­als of all so­cial ac­tors, we ex­changed views and con­cerns, but we had to reach a con­clu­sion,” he noted.

The Lar­naca Mayor said that per­son­ally he voted in favour of ap­prov­ing To­tal’s and ENI’ re­quests, hav­ing taken into con­sid­er­a­tion all the pa­ram­e­ters which are re­lated to the mat­ter, in­clud­ing the ben­e­fits the city could reap.

How­ever, he added, the ma­jor­ity’s de­ci­sion is re­spected and will be im­ple­mented.

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