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Cyprus Internet Directory [ Cyprus should import compressed natural gas ]

Cyprus should import compressed natural gas

The Cyprus government is being urged to switch from plans to import liquid natural gas (LNG) to compressed natural gas (CNG) in order to produce clean and efficient  energy, according to Prof. Michael Economides.

The Cypriot-born expert who lives in the US has advised and participated in energy projects in 70 countries, including seven years in Russia and is an editor of the Energy Tribune. He is in Cyprus as one of the three speakers tonight at the Hilton on “The Debate on Natural Gas: the Facts” organised by the SFS Group to mark its 20th anniversary.

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Mirror, Prof. Economides said natural gas is set to play a greater role in world energy and is a natural choice for Cyprus to produce its electricity from.

Cyprus produces the most expensive electricity in the EU because of its total reliance on diesel fuel. Cyprus is 30 years behind the rest of the world,” he said.



There should never have been a debate as to what form Cyprus should import its natural gas, which according to Economides should be CNG, which is ideal for a country the size of Cyprus.

His views echo remarks made last week by Christodoulos Ellinas, the Chairman and Chief Executive of SFS who offered his readiness to cooperate with the government to bring CNG to Cyprus.

Economides said that when it came to transporting natural gas, LNG was a better choice over longer distances – 2.500 miles – but CNG was a better option in distances under 1,000 miles.

“This means that it’s more economical for Cyprus, since its distance from Egypt or Libya – two countries from which we might import natural gas – is short,” he said.

“My choice would be Libya, since Egypt has a huge population (80 mln) and growing, so very soon they will have no spare capacity to export, whereas Libya is now emerging from sanctions and has abundant capacity to offer and Cyprus will be able to negotiate better prices,” said Economides.

Economides and SFS Shipping Director Demos Petropoulos said that CNG could be shipped to Cyprus for $1.38-2.00 per mln British Thermal Units (MMBtu) compared to $4.10-5.20 MMBtu for LNG. He also said LNG needed more storage than CNG.

“CNG technology is 25% less costly than that of LNG for a country such as Cyprus,” Petropoulos added.



Economides insists that if Cyprus and other EU nations decide to import CNG from north African countries, they will also help reduce the total reliance of the EU on Russia for its gas supplies.

“25 EU nations rely on Gazprom for their energy and Cyprus can be among the nations breaking this dominance.”

The SFS debate will take place tonight at the Hilton Park from 6pm to 8pm. The three speakers will focus on the advantages and disadvantages of both CNG and LNG, CNG as a safe reliable and economic alternative and the issue of the availability of transport for CNG. The debate will be opened by House President Marios Karoyian.

(Source: Financial Mirror)

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