Latest energy policy issues and key projects were highlighted at the annual IENE-FMW Cyprus Energy Symposium

Latest energy policy issues and key projects were highlighted at the annual IENE-FMW Cyprus Energy SymposiumSome of the key issues in terms of policy and major energy projects were brought to fore in the annual Cyprus Energy Symposium which was organised for the 9th consecutive year by FMW- Financial Media Way jointly with the Institute of Energy for SE Europe (IENE). This year’s event was once again held in hybrid format as the coronavirus pandemic necessitated certain precautionary measures.

Some of the key issues in terms of policy and major energy projects were brought to fore in the annual Cyprus Energy Symposium which was organised for the 9th consecutive year by FMW- Financial Media Way jointly with the Institute of Energy for SE Europe (IENE). This year’s event was once again held in hybrid format as the coronavirus pandemic necessitated certain precautionary measures. However, it was well attended as it brought together most of the executives and senior experts involved in the island’s energy scene.

The Symposium, which was held in Nicosia on November 4, included a discussion on the recent geopolitical challenges in the East Mediterranean, the next steps in Cyprus’ hydrocarbon exploration programme, the latest changes in the local electricity market in view of its liberalisation, the prospects for the introduction of natural gas in the island’s energy mix and the fast-moving renewables market. In addition, discussions focused on the prospects for the export of East Mediterranean gas to Europe and a review of investment prospects in the island’s buoyant energy sector.

Addressing the 9th Energy Symposium in Nicosia, the Minister for Energy, Communication and Industry Mrs. Natasha Pilides expressed the view that natural gas should remain a transitory fuel as the EU progresses to the green transition despite views expressed that this should be banned from the energy mix. “The next exploration round, which is expected to begin with the drilling by ExxonMobil and Qatar Petroleum in block 10, is something we eagerly await with high expectations, because surely the hydrocarbon quantities in our offshore blocks will determine to a large extent the speed and the way of exploitation of the hydrocarbons in the Cypriot EEZ,” Pilides said.

In early December, the US-Qatari consortium is expected to carry out an appraisal well in the “Glafcos” gas find in block 10 which is estimated to carry a reservoir between 5 and 8 trillion cubic feet. However, Pilides said that “the scene has changed” in the energy field, noting that the EU Green Deal, as well as the fit for 55 package, “places particular pressure so our targets have become more auspicious.” “This is something we need to take into account in our plans for reducing CO2 to 50 per cent from 40 per cent,” she added noting that the government is following a holistic approach utilising the funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Addressing the Symposium, the President of the House of Representatives, Annita Demetriou said that Cyprus is key to the region’s energy map, noting that the island is called on to play a catalytic role in the energy development of the region due to its geographic position. Demetriou also highlighted the importance of cooperation initiatives, noting that cooperation agreements with Greece, Israel, Egypt and Lebanon should be implemented. “Regional cooperation in the energy field based on the law of the sea and the principles of good neighbourliness constitute a very important factor in tackling instability and conflicts which affect our region traditionally and especially in the last years,” she stressed.

Another important issue which was raised by a number of speakers during the conference was the current crisis regarding the high electricity and gas prices. Although the prevailing high prices in Europe have not affected much the isolated electricity market in Cyprus, the issue is of great importance especially since LNG will start to be imported in the island from 2023 onwards in an effort to decarbonise its power generation which until now relies on oil fired electricity producing stations.

Other keynote speakers at the Symposium included the president of the Regulatory Authority of Cyprus Dr. Andreas Poulikas, the chairperson of the Cyprus Electricity Authority, Ms. Despina Theodosiou, The Deputy Director of the Cyprus Hydrocarbon Company, Dr. Dimitris Fessas, the chairman of the public Gas Company of Cyprus, Dr. Simeon Kassianidis, the Vice President of Energean, Dr. Dinos Nikolaou and others. The chairman and Executive Director of IENE Mr. Costis Stambolis and the CEO of FMW- Financial Media Way Mr.Iosif Iosif contributed opening remarks and summed up the Symposium proceedings at the close of the event.

The 9th Cyprus Energy Symposium was sponsored by a number of companies and organisations including the Hellenic Bank, Cyprus Hydrocarbon Company (CHC), Energean, CYGAS, The Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority, Esso (an ExxonMobil Brand) and VTTV.


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