Full speed ahead on oil products terminal

SENIOR members of Vitol Tank Terminals International (VTTI) yesterday met with Archbishop Chrysostomos to discuss the company’s €100 million oil product terminal project on Church land on the coast of Vasiliko, in the Larnaca district.

Present at the meeting, where the two sides “reaffirmed their close working relationship and discussed potential future collaboration,” were members of the board of directors of the Hellenic Mining Company (EME), a Church-owned company.

VTTI is said to be leasing the land from the Church but further details were not immediately available.

VTII, a 50/50 joint venture between major energy trader Vitol and world leading maritime corporation MISC Berhad, has already announced plans to build a major oil import and distribution terminal in the industrial area of Vassiliko.

The terminal, which is set for completion in 2012, marks an initial investment of more than €100 million in the Cyprus economy and will establish the island as a major oil trading hub in the region.

“This major project has been underway for some time now and I would like to take this opportunity to thank both the Church of Cyprus and the Hellenic Mining Company for the support that they have offered to us,” VTTI board member Christopher Bake said.

He added that VTTI expects construction of its new terminal to begin in early 2011 but while the initial investment was fixed at €100 million, “things are changing so there is a possibility that this investment will increase.”

Archbishop Chrysostomos said that both the Church of Cyprus and EME have excellent relations with VTTI, that the investment will benefit Cyprus, and that there is room for further cooperation between the parties in other sectors.

“We will work well together,” Chrysostomos said.

In addition to storage tanks, a jetty will be constructed to handle sea-going vessels. Oil products will arrive at the new terminal from the international oil markets and current plans for the terminal are focused on re-exporting to regional markets, as well as supplying the domestic market.

VTTI has a proven track record in the successful operation of terminals and the company has already made it clear that it intends to make a number of investments in key local projects to provide additional benefits for the community.