President Anastasiades inaugurated the VTT Vasilikos Ltd Terminal for the storage and management of petroleum products and outlined Cyprus ongoing efforts to become a regional energy centre.
“Our plans are ambitious,” Anastasiades said in his speech at the event, adding: “The developments planned in the Vasilikos area concern gas storage facilities and petroleum storage terminals with the aim to move the facilities from Larnaca as well as the storage of the Republic’s national stocks. Furthermore, the area can be utilised in the framework of our energy policy in relation to natural gas reserves”.
The President said the project would give impetus to Cyprus’ economy and the state expects that “when all the designs are completed, it will provide opportunities for synergies, which will benefit all the companies that will be established in the area”.
Anastasiades also said Cyprus expected residents of the neighbouring communities will also enjoy significant benefits “from the stimulation of the local economy as well as from the creation of jobs, both in the construction phase of the projects as well as in the stage of their operation”.
He noted the Council of Ministers has also approved a series of compensation measures for the benefit of the eight communities of the area, in collaboration with the local leadership and in line with their demands.
“The project, constitutes an economic achievement for Cyprus; it started in the middle of the economic crisis, in response to those who doubt our capabilities,” he said.
Anastasiades noted that, in periods of economic recession, projects of such magnitude were rarely if ever executed: “But the VTTV company’s Terminal for the storage and management of petroleum products, a project of 300 m euros, is here and in operation, reminding everyone that Cyprus is not only standing on its feet but will move forward and reach the success it deserves”.
The President also said Cyprus was looking forward to economic growth soon.
“A basic prerequisite for this is investment. Our economy needs a booster from abroad and it is for this reason that I have personally undertaken a campaign, in a number of countries, to attract investments,” he added.
Anastasiades said, his visits to the Gulf, Russia, Europe and America, had established there were positive signs, adding: “I expect concrete results in the future”.
“Bureaucracy and outdated administration methods had been hindering the implementation of the state’s objectives, which were in line with the ambition of Cypriot and foreign investors regarding the expansion of their business activities,” he said.
The President added, Cyprus was now determined to proceed to a substantial reform of the public sector and modernisation of the state.
The VTT Vasilikos Ltd Terminal for the storage and management of petroleum products is in line with the VTTI B.V. Dutch company’s vision and also Cyprus’ own, Anastasiades said: “To create a hub for trading petroleum products in the strategically important region of the Eastern Mediterranean. This Terminal constitutes the springboard for development in the Vasilikos area and it is the largest private energy project ever constructed in the Republic of Cyprus until now. It is a pioneering project since it is the first project of its kind, built in our region, aimed at transit trade”.
Due to its strategic location, the Terminal connects the markets of Europe and the Black Sea with those of the Middle East and Asia. Its significance for the wider region becomes more salient due to the operation of large oil refineries in the Middle East and also the deliberations that are taking place for upgrading the Suez Canal so as to allow ships of larger capacity to pass by this strategic naval passage, the President noted.
“Moreover, this project has helped us overcome a longstanding problem in the city of Larnaca. I am referring to the oil facilities which had been contributing, for decades, to the undermining of the city’s coastal front,” he said.
The Cyprus Organisation for Storage and Management of Oil Stocks 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 the cost of storing the national stocks in these facilities will remain at the same level, while, at the same time, an opportunity has been created to repatriate the reserves we kept abroad, securing a strategic advantage in case of a sudden energy crisis.