Gas-hungry Cyprus is finally gearing up to launch a tender for its planned LNG import facility, which will use a floating storage and regasification unit.
Those close to the project said tender documentation has been finalised and is now being reviewed by a government steering committee, or “Cyprus Inc” as one official described it. “It is at the internal process stage,” he said, adding that the tender is likely to be issued in the coming weeks.
The official said there is likely to be “some flexibility” in the final tender, which will allow for consideration of newbuildings and existing vessels or LNG carrier-to-FSRU conversions.
But he explained that the tender is also likely to include provision for engineering procurement and construction (EPC) works, not simply for the FSRU but also for the onshore jetty and mooring facilities.
This would imply that the FSRU provider will need to team up with an EPC contractor on bids or be prepared to undertake this work themselves.
A start-up in 2020 is still a target for the project, although it is acknowledged that this would be the earliest date that this could be achieved.
FSRU players have been expecting the Cyprus business for several months.
Initially, officials at Cygas, Cyprus’ state-run Natural Gas Public Co (Defa), said the business would be issued in the first half of this year, indicating this would likely emerge at the end of the first quarter.
Under these earlier plans, a separate tender was to be floated for infrastructure.
Defa wants to moor an FSRU at a jetty off the Electricity Authority of Cyprus’ Vasilikos Power Station on the country’s central southern coastline.
The project is dubbed CyprusGas2EU. It secured a €101m ($117m) grant from the European Union’s Connecting Europe Facility in January to help diversify the country’s energy mix and speed the switch from heavy fuel oil to gas for power generation in a bid to reach new emissions targets.
Defa has said this will fund 40% of the project.
The state outfit is also considering other related uses for the terminal, including LNG bunkering, trucking and regional supply.
Cyprus has had revolving thoughts on importing LNG over the past 10-plus years.
While Defa made serious headway on these plans, the situation later became complicated by gas finds in the region, which at one point threw up the prospects of LNG exports.
By Lucy Hine
Thu, 06 Sep 2018 17:00:00 +0000