Cyprus wants to create a corridor to supply fuel from the Eastern Mediterranean to Europe

Cyprus wants to establish itself as a gateway from east Mediterranean gas resources to Europe via a shipping corridor of LNG carriers, its president said on Monday.

Cyprus’s new centrist government, which came to power in February, has cooled to the idea championed by its predecessors of an “EastMed” pipeline transferring gas to Europe.

Instead, authorities now want to transport, via pipeline, natural gas from fields in the eastern Mediterranean to the island for use in domestic conventional power generation, with an additional LNG facility to process for European markets, President Nikos Christodoulides said.

The east Mediterranean has yielded some of the largest natural gas discoveries in the past decade. Cyprus reported its first natural gas discovery in 2011, though it has yet to enter production.

Plans for a 2,000 km (1,243 mile) pipeline to take eastern Mediterranean gas to Europe had been under discussion for about a decade. However, there was a setback in early 2022, when the U.S. pulled its previous support, saying it was too expensive and would take too long to build.

Nicosia is stepping up energy diplomacy by promoting cooperation between Eastern Mediterranean countries to effectively use the region’s natural gas resources, President Nikos Christodoulidis said as he unveiled the country’s updated energy strategy.

The proposed alternative solution is the construction of a new infrastructure between Israel and Cyprus with the possibility of exporting liquefied natural gas to Europe.

Christodoulidis called on international energy companies and investors to participate in the implementation of this priority project, as it is of great interest to the EU.

The Cypriot president also emphasized the importance for European countries of the intersystem electricity connections implemented in the Eastern Mediterranean, through which it will be possible to transfer cheap electricity from renewable sources to Europe.

The “highest priority” for the government is the reduction of electricity costs for households and businesses, which will support the sustainable development of the Cypriot economy, President Nikos Christodoulidis also pointed out.

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