Min. Energy: We didn't give enough tools to the EAC - It became the "black man's mistress"

The competent Minister George Papanastasiou reiterated his determination to bring natural gas to Cyprus both from the Cypriot deposits and from the region in gaseous form so as to drive down electricity prices

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The responsible Minister Giorgos Papanastasiou reiterated his determination to bring natural gas to Cyprus both from the Cypriot deposits and from the region in gaseous form so as to drive down electricity prices, expressing apologies to consumers because the State did not provide what was needed so that the Cyprus Electricity Authority (ECA) is the player that sets energy prices down.

In out-of-text references in the context of his greeting at the SIDIKEK-PEO-EAC pan-Cypriot conference, Mr. Papanastasiou emphasized that the country cannot rely on the decisions of others regarding its energy policy, while he underlined that the EAC it should be the number one producer in the matter of green energy as well.

"The EAC may, to put it colloquially, become the "black man's wife" in the sense that if you go out there, when the whole world sees something expensive, the EAC is to blame. EAC is not to blame, I say. The EAC is partly to blame, the state is to blame for a lot and I would like to apologize on its behalf,” he said in reports described by delegates as “unprecedented”.

As he said, "even though I am new to the Ministry, I can honestly tell you that we did not give enough tools to the EAC to be able to be the "price setter", the one that determines the price of electricity downwards, not upwards".

"The price of electricity must go down, we will give those tools to EAC to push (prices) down from there. We will give it the natural gas, we will give it freedom in green production so that the Authority can show us what it can do," he said.

Saying that the EAC has know-how, the Minister of Energy emphasized that this know-how was not given the opportunity to develop. "We didn't leave her, we limited her. We have limited it with various policies in different directions, it does not know where it is going, and what is the result? to have the workers go out with strikes to support their rights because the Organization does not know where it is going."

We will have reactions, but first Cyprus

In his extensive non-textual reports, Mr. Papanastasiou said that the arrival of liquefied natural gas (LNG) cannot reduce the price of electricity due to the high prices of LNG after the war in Ukraine and emphasized that planning was done for the arrival of natural gas in gaseous form from the region, which was submitted and approved by the President of the Republic Nikos Christodoulidis.

"we will get geopolitical reactions, but finally this place has to stand up, stand up because this people is proud and we made them not to be proud of anything", he added.

We must, Mr. Papanastasiou continued, "finally stand on our feet and use our knowledge and our capabilities to develop our weaknesses and we as a state, and I personally as a Minister in the specific Ministry will give all the help that the EAC wants , which the workers want in order to get the EAC where it deserves".

Mr. Papanastasiou pledged to support the EAC, within the framework allowed by the European directives and the European framework, so that "it develops in green energy and we will use the EAC to be the number one producer".

"The country cannot rely on the decisions of others. This people must stand on their own feet and we will support them on their own decisions, we will bring natural gas from the neighborhood, maybe even ours, we will not lose natural gas left and right because this place needs it. First Cyprus, then the rest, whatever is left, we will gladly discuss it, but first is Cyprus, full stop. Let those who were pestering us understand that the pests will now be expelled,” he said.

Besides, the Vice-President of the EAC Board of Directors. Giorgos Nikoletos, said that this year the EAC will celebrate its 70 years of life, adding that in these 70 years of development, the EAC is the stable pillar of energy in all the important moments of Cyprus.

"Our vision is clear: A green energy future. The growing use of renewable sources as well as green energy storage systems is becoming more and more imperative. Investments in new infrastructure and equipment are required, as well as the development of new business models and related regulatory frameworks. Therefore, there is a need to find ways to integrate these technologies into existing electricity generation and distribution systems," he said.

In her own greeting, the CEO of PEO, Sotiroula Charalambous, criticized the previous government for its privatization policy during the 2013 crisis, which led the Authority to a "slow death".

"Under the pretext of opening the market and abolishing the monopoly of the EAC, an attempt was made to split and limit the role and scope of the organization with the visible risk of its economic withering. Essentially privatization through slow death,” he said.

The need to strengthen and support the EAC, he said, is perfectly identified with the support of the development potential of the Cypriot economy, the implementation of the contractual obligations of the Republic of Cyprus regarding pollutants, the relief of Cypriot consumers from high electricity prices.

Besides, Nikos Grigoriou, Secretary General of SIDIKEK PEO, referred to the "significant decline in the functioning of labor relations in the Organization to an extent that constitutes dysfunction and inefficiency".

"It is unthinkable to reach the point where strikes are needed to convince the EAC and especially the relevant Ministries and the government, that in order to work effectively the EAC must be adequately staffed," he said.

Dimitris Konstantinou, Secretary of the branch of SIDIKEK PEO - AEK, said that the delay in the arrival of natural gas in Cyprus led to a breaking point in sufficiency in 2023 and a very serious problem of sufficiency in 2023.

He described the Minister's reports on workers as encouraging, adding that the Energy Minister has shown "unprecedented support for the agency".

At the conference, an honorary award was given to Koullis Argyrou, a network technician at EAC who lost his life in a work accident on May 20, 2021.

Source: KYPE