EIB to help Cyprus find money for gas project

European Investment Bank offers backing to Cyprus' bid to exploit offshore gas deposits

Associated Press

NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) -- The European Investment Bank says it will help Cyprus find the financing to build a natural gas processing plant.

EIB President Werner Hoyer and Vice president Mihai Tanasescu offered support for the debt-crushed island's bid to exploit newfound offshore gas deposits. He did not specify whether the EIB might also provide financial support.

Cyprus hopes the gas can revive the economy by meeting its domestic energy needs and exporting excess supply starting at around 2020.

Cyprus negotiated a 23 billion euro ($29.8 billion) rescue package with its euro partners and the IMF in March that forced savers in the country's two biggest banks to incur huge losses on deposits over 100,000 euros.

The EIB officials also signed Thursday a 100 million euro loan deal aimed at Cyprus' small businesses.

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