The first visit for today was to Vassiliko Cement and VTTV oil and energy. These two companies work out of the same plant. Vassiliko Cement has the task of taking raw materials, mainly limestone, and processing it into cement. The limestone is collected themselves from a quarry they own nearby. This means that there are very little upstream suppliers for this company. The process of making the raw materials into “clinker” and then turning that clinker material into cement can take many days and it consists of a series of crushing, mixing, and kiln firing on repeat. They can pump out close to 1.6 million tons of cement every year, and they serve both local and international markets. A majority of the cement they make stays in Cyprus, but for their excess they export it to other parts of the world. The cement company has a jetty with enough space and resources to operate on 4 ships simultaneously. They service around 300 ships/year and they own the biggest industrial port in Cyprus. They are one of the main cement plants in Cyprus, and cement holds the number 3 spot for the most exported material in Cyprus, so it’s safe to say Vassiliko is a very important company to the nation of Cyprus.
Next, we listened in on a VTTV presentation. VTTV does work with storing gasoline and electricity in their farms. VTTV is a part of a mother companies with 18 terminals across 5 continents. They mainly rent out the space to store refined gasoline. The oil itself isn’t even theirs, they just rent out the holding cells.
For lunch we had fish meze. There were more kinds and preparations of fish than I ever could have imagined. I like seafood and though I have had all kinds. But this restaurant was on a whole new level. The food was delicious and I am so excited I not only got to experience one authentic Mediterranean fish meal, but I got 10+ different kinds to try.
Finally, we went to Hala Sultan Tekke mosque in Larnaca. This is one of the most important mosques in the world to the Muslim people. Being able to go inside and witness the architecture and design of the mosque was breathtaking. I grew up a Christian, so I have seen a fair number of extravagant churches. Later in the day we went to one such church, the Church of St Lazarus. But it was the simplicity and the beauty of the mosque that really impressed me.