Minister ready to discuss Limassol port option
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.