Parties Mull Liquid Gas Supply Decision
The process to choose a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) supplier for Cyprus has entered the phase of being discussed by political parties AKEL, DISY, EDEK and EVROKO following yesterday's briefing by Commerce Minister Antonis Paschalides and the state gas company DEFA.
Political discussions on the island's LNG supplier are being followed closely by the London Stock Exchange where public companies BP, BG and Royal Dutch Shell saw losses in their stock prices after a difficult year in 2010.
All three companies are in competition for a 20-year contract to supply Cyprus' natural gas, according to a report by the Independent.co.uk.
A decision on the supplier is likely to take some time if the parties' reactions is anything to go by; DISY has expressed reservations about the process, with leader Nikos Anastassiades saying that 20 years is too long considering the discovery of natural gas deposits in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Anastassiades also criticised the process as flawed in an interview on Sigma TV's Mesimeri kai Kati programme. He said that 15 companies had made their initial offers with sealed envelopes, and mid-stream the state gas company DEFA switched to direct negotiations with three companies. An offer from Israel which was 20 percent lower than other offers has been excluded from negotiations, he said, calling for more dialogue with the excluded companies provided they are of international stature.
But AKEL is standing by its actions, saying that LNG will be good for the environment and people. DEFA's recommended supplier is being kept confidential amid press speculation that the preferred company will be Shell.