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Greece and Cyprus' energy regulators sign memorandum.


Poly Pantelides

THE ENERGY regulators of Greece and Cyprus signed a memorandum of cooperation yesterday in the presence of high ranking officials and politicians.

The memorandum was signed on behalf of the Cyprus Energy Regulatory Authority (CERA) by its head Giorgos Shammas and on behalf of Greece's Regulatory Authority for Energy (RAE) by head, Nicos Vasilakos.

"It is commonly accepted nowadays that the development of an internal energy market in EU member states is not exclusively a national, home matter of each state," Shammas said.

He added that Cyprus' natural gas finds of an estimated gross mean 7.0 trillion cubic feet and the launch of a second round of offshore hydrocarbons' licensing "was auspicious" timing for signing the memorandum.

The memorandum heralds a three-year collaboration between the two bodies although it is not a legally binding document.

The memorandum provides among others, for technology, knowledge and staff transfer; joint projects and funding applications; and collaboration in the energy market including in natural gas matters.

It also states that CERA and RAE will exchange information as needed and set up a "permanent collaboration committee". It provides for an implementation memorandum which will be submitted every three years by one of the two parties, stipulating a flexible collaboration and interaction programme.

Commerce Minister Neoclis Sylikiotis said the two bodies' collaboration was "especially important at this time of the financial crisis we're undergoing, so that we can take real decisions and measures to better accomplish common-interest projects".

He said he was referring to attracting investors from within or outside of the EU, creating electricity connections, the development of renewable energy sources and proper energy usage and the reduction of carbon dioxide emissions. In late March, the Electricity Authority of Cyprus and DEH Quantum Energy - which is partly owned by Greece's state-run public power corporation DEH -- also signed a collaboration memorandum. That memorandum concerns the possibility of constructing EuroAsia Interconnector linking up Israel, Cyprus, Crete and the Peloponnese.

Vasilakos said that both countries were putting in efforts to create energy links and infrastructures and "lifting states' isolationC* would contribute to extending and fossilising a unified European market".

Meantime, the 'Foreign Minister' for the 'TRNC', Huseyin Ozgurgun, called on relevant parties to refrain from cooperation with the Greek Cypriots who were licensing offshore blocks the 'TRNC' was planning to explore as well.

"I would like to stress once more that we, ourselves along with Turkey are determined to take every measure to protect our rights and interests," Ozgugun said.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry said in an announcement yesterday that "companies cooperating with (the) Greek Cypriot Administration (sic) will in no way be allowed to take part in Turkey's future energy projects".

Copyright Cyprus Mail 2012

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Publication:Cyprus Mail (Cyprus)
Geographic Code:4EUGR
Date:May 19, 2012
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