The EMC (Eastern Mediterranean Conference & Exhibition) entitled ‘Unlocking Cleaner Energy for the Region, for Europe & Beyond’, which took place in Cyprus from 10 to 12 November, proved to be an important opportunity for Mediterranean countries to meet and discuss energy sector issues. During the three days, new policies were shared, action undertaken with the incentives of the PNRRs were examined and all stakeholders involved were able to discuss projects and collaborations.
The Conference was hosted by the Cyprus Hydrocarbons Company (CHC), under the auspices of the Ministry of Energy, Commerce and Industry of Cyprus, official partners being the Ministry of Agriculture, Rural Development and Environment of Cyprus, the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEBE), the Cyprus Employers & Industrialists Federation (OEB), the European Commission, the Enterprise Europe Network, other than the ITA (Italian Trade Agency) and the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.
H.E. Natasa Pilides, Minister of Energy, Commerce and Industry of the Republic of Cyprus opened the Conference, divided into 6 plenary sessions, 28 of which technical, with 20 workshops for about 1000 international delegates, 150 exhibiting companies.
The strong representation of Italy, through the Italian Embassy in Cyprus, the ITA Beirut Office and the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce, as well as numerous companies operating in the energy sector, confirmed the strong commercial and institutional relations with the Republic of Cyprus and provided the opportunity for companies to connect with the main stakeholders in Cyprus and in the Mediterranean Area.
Particularly interesting was the panel held on 10 November, entitled ‘Opportunities and Cooperation for Italy in the Energy sector in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean Area’, introduced by the Ambassador of Italy in Cyprus, H.E. Andrea Cavallari, which was attended by Vincenzo Ercole Salazar, in the dual role of Global Head of Italian Infrastructure Industry for both the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) and the Italian Contractors’ Association (ANCE), Claudio Pasqualucci, Director of ITA Beirut Office and Giuseppe Marino, President of the Italian-Cypriot Chamber of Commerce.
The speeches focused on the great opportunities for cooperation in the Italy-Cyprus axis for the Italian companies in the energy sector.
It was highlighted how much contribution in terms of waste to energy (30%) will be given by the Vassiliko Power Station, and the possibility of participation of companies, in addition to the 25 already selected to supply LNG to Cyprus, in the Vassiliko FSRU (Floating Storage and Regasification Unit) Project that provides significant funding from the European Investment Bank, the Connecting Europe Facility of the EU, EBRD and EAC (Electricity Authority of Cyprus).
It was discussed Italy’s presence in the large electricity Interconnection Projects, EuroAsia (Israel-Cyprus-Greece) and EuroAfrica (Egypt-Cyprus-Greece), which are still in the allocation phase, and which are eligible for CEF funds (€8.7 billion) and will bring socio-economic benefits estimated at around €10 billion. It’s important to remember that Italy was one of the seven countries to have signed in September 2020 the Charter of the East Med Gas Forum for cooperation in creating infrastructure and development in energy markets, and that’s Italian the technology consultant for the EuroAfrica project, CESI (Centro Elettrotecnico Sperimentale Italiano).
During the Conference were also developed the opportunities provided by the liberalisation of the Electricity Market through the approval of 3 new laws under Cyprus’ RRNP, which will allow the reduction of energy prices and the use of a combined conventional and renewable electricity supply system; it was confirmed the commitment to increase renewables to 23% by 2030 (Component 3.1 and 3.2 of Cyprus’ RRNP), the allocation of €20 million for CO2 emission reduction projects and the expansion of the photovoltaic industry to 25% by 2023.
Another sector moving towards the Energy Transition is the production of green hydrogen, both for the absence of emissions and for the range of its possible applications (industry, fuel cells, vehicles, shipping, aviation, heating and cooling systems).
The EMC 2021 clearly showed that Cyprus is one of the most attractive energy destinations in the Mediterranean, with interesting new business, wide European investments and economic development prospects for all stakeholders in the sector.
The significant and qualified Italian entrepreneurial presence at the EMC has consolidated relationships of collaboration, offered ideas for new synergies and reaffirmed the primary role of the ‘Italian system’ present in Cyprus and the important strategic support provided by the Italian–Cypriot Chamber of Commerce to companies that will cooperate in the development of innovative strategies to support the Green and Sustainable Transition.
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Last modified: February 1, 2022