Paschalides Confirms Israel Gas Interest
Minister of Commerce Antonis Paschalides has confirmed that Israel is interested in a joint project to build a liquid natural gas (LNG) terminal in Cyprus following a report by the Middle East Economic Survey (MEES).
Government sources said that the letter of intent from an Israeli company specifies that Cyprus could be exploiting natural gas by as early as 2013.
Environmentalists in Israel have blocked the construction of an LNG terminal in Israel on the grounds that it will increase air pollution, prompting energy companies and the government to look to a Cyprus facility as an alternative.
According to the Green Party in Cyprus, environmental concerns are not a factor for the Ministry of Commerce, which has ignored their recommendations to develop wind and wave power instead. According to the Energy Justice Network, natural gas is often promoted as a clean energy source, but the facts are that it releases methane gas, which traps more heat that carbon dioxide and intensifies the greenhouse effect that is causing climate change.
Last week MEES reported that Israeli energy company DELEK had sent a letter to the Cyprus government expressing its interest in a joint LNG project.