Cyprus and Jordan announced on Tuesday the activation of technical committees to discuss the details of possible cooperation in the gas sector.
The announcement was made at a meeting in Nicosia between Energy Minister Giorgos Lakkotrypis and his Jordanian counterpart Ibrahim Saif.
After the meeting Saif said he regards Cyprus as a strategic partner in terms of potential cooperation in the energy sector and did not rule out the next meeting at ministerial level could be tripartite, between Jordan, Greece and Cyprus or even a four-way confab with the addition of Egypt.
Ever since the Sinai pipeline carrying gas to Jordan was damaged by terrorist attacks, the Middle Eastern country has been covering its energy needs via purchases of liquefied natural gas (LNG) from Shell.
A collaboration between Cyprus and Jordan may involve transfer of the Cypriot gas to Egypt and from there to Jordan. The ministers studied two options, either via pipeline or by LNG.
“Based on the memorandum signed in 2014 during my visit to Jordan, we agreed to activate the technical groups to discuss the technical details of a possible cooperation in the gas sector,” Lakkotrypis said later during a joint news conference with Saif.
Through this effort, he explained, “we want to explore the necessary infrastructure, what is there, what is needed, whether it relates to underwater pipelines or concerns liquefied natural gas, which Jordan currently imports to serve its own needs.”
The two countries would continue to work to deepen and broaden their relations on the commercial, technical and economic levels.
For his part, Saif said energy was one of the main sectors where the two countries could establish long-term relations.
“About 97 per cent of the energy needs in Jordan is imported and we regard Cyprus as a strategic partner in terms of the potential cooperation between both countries,” he noted.
Technical groups between the two countries would sit at the same table and examine “the same map,” added Saif, referring to the developing gas network in the region and Jordan’s place in that network.
“Definitely we are looking at how we can utilise better the existing infrastructure and the existing routes of the potential infrastructure, so we can work together. Not only are we talking about short term cooperation, we are really here to explore long-term cooperation, we want to maximize and utilize to the maximum possible the infrastructure that exists now but also the infrastructure that could be built in the near future,” he said. (CNA)