Monday

19th Feb 2018

EU to pump €101m into Cyprus gas network

  • Nicosia. Most of Cyprus' energy is powered by oil and petroleum products (Photo: Kyriakos)

The European Union is going to pump €101m into a project aimed at hooking Cyprus up to natural gas, as part of the so-called Southern Gas Corridor, it announced on Thursday (25 January).

According to the European Commission, member states agreed on Thursday to invest €873m overall in energy infrastructure, including around €200m in natural gas projects.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

The CyprusGas2EU project "will end the current energy isolation" of Cyprus, a member of the bloc since 2004.

Cyprus relies on oil and petroleum products for almost its entire energy consumption - in 2012 it was around 95 percent.

Seven years ago however, significant gas resources were found in the eastern Mediterranean Sea.

The EU contribution would amount to 40 percent of the total costs, and would include the construction of an offshore liquid natural gas facility.

"The action's maturity is excellent and the implementation can start promptly," the commission said about the Cyprus project in an internal document, seen by EUobserver.

It said that while the project proposal did not "demonstrate specific effects in regards of technological innovation", it would deliver "particularly high benefits at national level in terms of sustainability of electricity generation".

Initially the project promoters had requested that the EU finance 75 percent, but according to the internal document they did not justify the need for that "exceptional" co-funding rate.

Last November, the commission already said in a report that the gas field discoveries raised the profile of the eastern Mediterranean region as a gas producer and exporter.

"It is therefore in the EU's interest to assist the countries in the region [Israel, Cyprus, Egypt] in better exploiting their energy resources and to develop mutually-beneficial commercial cooperation," it said.

Fossil fuel

However, the more than €100m investment in natural gas, a fossil fuel, is likely to irk environmentalist groups.

Although gas emits less CO2 per energy unit than coal or oil, it is still a fossil fuel which contributes to potentially disastrous climate change.

The commission's press release was titled 'More growth and jobs: EU invests €873 million in clean energy infrastructure', which is stretching the definition of clean energy.

The decision also raises the question why not more money is invested in renewable energy.

In a 2014 country report of Cyprus, the European Commission itself said that the country had "remarkable potential in solar and wind".

Trans-Caspian Pipeline

Another gas project approved on Thursday, was a contribution of almost €1.9m to a €3.7m project related to the Southern Gas Corridor, which would ship gas from the Caspian sea to Europe.

The EU will fund a study into the Trans-Caspian Pipeline and appears to be, in part, a political choice.

"The action has a significant cross-border dimension and intensive coordination activities are on-going with Turkmenistan and Georgia, although cooperation with Azerbaijan has not been demonstrated," the internal commission document said about the project proposal.

"The need for EU co-funding is estimated to be necessary to enable a timely construction, as well as to give a signal to potential, future investors. The execution of the action would be a clear signal to the involved stakeholders and investors that the EU is pursuing the full opening of the potential of the Southern Gas Corridor."

The document said that three other proposals related to the Southern Gas Corridor had been rejected.

Other gas projects will also receive funding, including a study into an offshore pipeline between Cyprus and the Greek mainland via Crete, at a cost of €34.5m.

Russia warns Denmark on gas pipeline

Russia said its Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline might bypass Danish waters, after a new law that increased uncertainty on permits.

EU still giving gas projects 'fast-track' status

The European Commission published on Friday a list of projects of common interest, which receive preferential treatment. Environmental lobbyists accuse the Commission of trying to fool the public with number games.

Feature

EU bank courts controversy with €1.5bn gas pipe investment

The European Investment Bank will invest €1.5bn in a natural gas pipeline connecting Italy, Greece, and Albania. Critics say that this would damage the climate, and make Europe rely on Azerbaijan - which has a poor human rights track record.

EU to pump €101m into Cyprus gas network

The EU also agreed on financing a study into the Southern Gas Corridor, to send a signal that the EU is still invested in the project - but leaves questions over renewable energy sources.

Austria sues Commission over Hungary's nuclear plant

Anti-nuclear Austria takes the EU Commission to court over Hungary's controversial Paks II nuclear plant, financed and built by Russia. But it is the Euratom treaty itself that could be on trial.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: Nord Stream 2 pipeline poses 'no danger'
  2. Spanish king in Barcelona next week
  3. Turkey jails journalists for life
  4. Make budget cuts in farm and regional funds, the Dutch say
  5. UN: Hungary's anti-migration bill is 'assault on human rights'
  6. Journalist Deniz Yucel freed in Turkey
  7. New organic farming bill not ready until late spring
  8. Commissioner: Western Balkans in EU is 'obvious'

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAA year ago UNESDA members pledged to reduce added sugars in soft drinks by 10%
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  3. EPSUMovie Premiere: 'Up to The Last Drop' - 22 February, Brussels
  4. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  5. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  7. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  8. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name
  9. Dialogue PlatformBeyond the Errors in the War on Terror: How to Fight Global Militarism - 22 February
  10. Swedish EnterprisesHarnessing Globalization- at What Cost? Keynote Speaker Commissioner Malmström
  11. European Friends of ArmeniaSave The Date 28/02: “Nagorno-Karabakh & the EU: 1988-2018”
  12. European Heart NetworkSmart CAP is Triple Win for Economy, Environment and Health

Latest News

  1. EU asks charities to explain anti-abuse measures
  2. ECB, Budget, EU elections This WEEK
  3. EU states stay mute on implementation of mercury bill
  4. Baltic states demand bigger EU budget
  5. Germany raises concerns over Hungary's 'Stop Soros' bills
  6. EU ties Brexit transition talks to divorce agreement
  7. EU divided over Western Balkan enlargement
  8. Facebook and Twitter weak on protecting users, says EU

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. European Free AlllianceEFA Joined the Protest in Aiacciu to Solicit a Dialogue After the Elections
  2. EPSUDrinking Water Directive Step Forward but Human Right to Water Not Recognized
  3. European Gaming & Betting AssociationGambling Operators File Data Protection Complaint Against Payment Block in Norway
  4. European Jewish CongressEJC Expresses Deep Concern Over Proposed Holocaust Law in Poland
  5. CECEConstruction Industry Gets Together to Discuss the Digital Revolution @ the EU Industry Days
  6. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Relations in the New Era
  7. European Free AlllianceEnd Discrimination of European Minorities - Sign the Minority Safepack Initiative
  8. Centre Maurits Coppieters“Diversity Shouldn’t Be Only a Slogan” Lorant Vincze (Fuen) Warns European Commission
  9. Dialogue PlatformWhat Can Christians Learn from a Global Islamic Movement?
  10. European Jewish CongressEJC President Warns Europe as Holocaust Memory Fades
  11. European Free AlllianceNo Justice From the Spanish Supreme Court Ruling
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Solutions for Sustainable Cities: New Grants Awarded for Branding Projects