The Electricity Authority of Cyprus (EAC) has invited companies to prequalify as potential partners in a joint venture LNG company.

The Electricity Authority, a semi-government corporation, invites applications for expression of interest, for participation and investment in the LNG company responsible for the development, financing, operation and management of the Vasilikos LNG terminal on the south coast of Cyprus.

A separate entity, Defa, which is jointly owned by the EAC and the Cypriot government, will be responsible for import and distribution of the gas.

According to Reuters, Cyprus is currently using heavy fuel oil at its power stations and wants to switch to the cheaper option of LNG, introducing it to the market by 2014.

The news service also said that official estimates put Cyprus's LNG requirements at 1 bcm per year, and that the island is holding exploratory consultations with Egypt and Algeria for supplies.