On 16 January, the ETYFA Prometheus Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) finally set sail for Cyprus from a Cosco shipyard in China. It should arrive at Vasilikos port in mid-March, unless it’s delayed by congestion in the Red Sea and Suez Canal linked to the war in Gaza.
The Cypriot government hopes the eventual import of natural gas at the adjacent Vasilikos power station will reduce the country’s annual carbon emissions by 30% — and slash electricity bills by around 15-25%.
The conversion of the FSRU and the construction of the terminal is the largest infrastructure project in Cypriot history. It cost 500mn euros, about a fifth of which are EU funds.
It’s a big deal because Cyprus currently burns a lot of expensive fuel oil/diesel to keep the lights on. That resulted in a relatively high cost of electricity compared to other EU member states, not to mention that Nicosia is constantly on the hook for fines over missing EU targets to remove dirty fossil fuels from its energy fuel mix.
The project suffered numerous delays, missing its initial two-year estimated duration (blame the pandemic and technical glitches). Energy Minister George Papansatasiou expects the onshore structure to be ready by the end of July or the start of August.
Instead of leasing out the FSRU until the terminal is completed, which was once floated as an interim solution, the operators are now thinking of connecting the ship to the power plant to begin testing the two 220 MW combined-cycle gas turbines.
For more information about the Eastern Mediterranean gas environment, watch the recording of our January webinar East Med Gas: Opportunities Amid a Crisis featuring Michael Knights, Head of Research for MENA at Horizon Engage, along with senior advisors Crispin Hawes and Pinchas Landau.
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