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Cyprus to get natural gas terminal

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Cyprus said it plans to transition to cleaner and cheaper natural gas for energy generation in two years as work officially began Thursday to build the east Mediterranean island nation’s first gas import terminal.

Cypriot President Nicos Anatastiades attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the terminal, which with a budget of $327.5 million in U.S. dollars is expected to be the country’s costliest energy project.

The terminal will feature a tanker ship built in Singapore and refitted to convert liquefied natural gas back into gaseous form for use in Cyprus’s main power plant.

Cyprus contracted a consortium made up of China Petroleum Pipeline Engineering, Metron, Hudong-Zhongua Shipbuilding and Wilhelmsen Ship Management to complete the project, which includes a jetty and pipelines to convey the gas to the nearby Vasilikos power plant.

The consortium has 24 months to deliver an operational terminal from the time construction begins. There were three failed attempts to build a gas terminal in the last decade before the Cypriot government signed the deal with the Chinese-led consortium late last year.

Anastasiades said the terminal would help lower crude-dependent Cyprus’ power generation costs by an estimated 15%-25% and reduce its carbon footprint by 30%.

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