The first FSRU for Cyprus begins commissioning at Cosco shipyard

Cyprus FSRU
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The commissioning phase of the first FSRU for Cyprus converted in Shanghai has started. The ship completed her second dry docking at Cosco Shipping Heavy Industry’s shipyard on March 4 and is now preparing for tests before heading to the Mediterranean this year. The project, delayed by several complications, sees the FSRU operating in Cyprus until 2044.

The project, which is expected to cost around €315 million when completed, is being described as the largest project in Cyprus’ history and will create the island’s first LNG plant. The 72,780 dwt LNG tanker built in 2002 as the cheers will be permanently docked less than a mile off the coast of Limassol, Cyprus in Vasilikos Bay. The project envisages connecting the ship directly to the Vasilikos power plant.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, which provided $95 million to purchase the vessel for conversion, says the project is critical to Cyprus’ energy security and will help meet the island’s environmental goals. The FSRU will replace the heavy fuel oil used in the power plant. It is estimated that 90 percent of the island’s power supply comes from heavy oil.

In addition to bank financing, the European Union provided an additional US$120 million for the project. A loan was also provided by the European Investment Bank and the Cyprus Electricity Authority is also participating in the project.

Cosco reports that the ship arrived at its shipyard in August 2022 to begin the FSRU modification program. Work to manufacture the regasification module had started in October 2021 and a separate power module in December 2021. In addition to the ability to handle LNG from large tankers with capacities ranging from 120,000 to 217,000 cbm, the conversion will install a dual power system that will allow the vessel to operate with LNG onboard. It also has a backup function to switch to diesel power in an emergency. The FSRU will have a storage capacity of 1225,000 cbm.

The second phase of dry dock operations began on February 17. They installed a ballast tube, outboard tube in the engine room, renewed the bottom plate and other projects including sandblasting and painting the ship. Cosco reports that 20,000 square meters of sandblasting was completed in just 56 hours before inclement weather disrupted operations. They completed the ship’s painting and propeller installation and inspections in a 20-day operation. They had previously completed the lifting and installation of the regasification unit and compressor.

The ship has been renamed Etyfa Prometheas during dry dock and she will be re-registered in Cyprus. According to reports from Cyprus, the ship is expected to arrive this summer, with the project running some nine months behind the latest schedule due to supply chain delays caused by the pandemic.

In January, work began on the jetty to which the FSRU will be moored and the pipeline that will connect it to the power plant. This part of the project is expected to be completed by July.

The project is the latest example of strong demand for FSRU units and ongoing LNG infrastructure conversions. It was reported last week that Singapore has started work on a similar vessel conversion that will enable Greece’s first FSRU and LNG import operations in the eastern part of the country. Work is also planned to complete the additional FSRUs chartered by Germany, which are due to be rolled out in the coming months. The German government has committed to a total of five FSRUs in the first phase of building the country’s import infrastructure, and exploration is already underway to expand capacity at government-led projects in western Germany, as well as a private project developed by Deutsche Gas in East Germany to raise Germany.

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