Cyprus has reached an agreement with Israeli investors for the long-awaited €1.2 bln redevelopment of Larnaca port and marina, the island’s largest infrastructure project of its kind
Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos announced on Thursday that the government has agreed with the consortium which is to take on the project after protracted negotiations.
Tender negotiations between the two sides have been ongoing since late 2018.
According to Karousos the contract with KITION OCEAN Holding, a Cypriot-Israeli consortium is expected to be signed within the next 10 days.
The project covers the restructuring of Larnaca marina for 650 berths, the port and surrounding land development over an area of 220,000 sqm which is expected to see the consortium invest around €1.2 bln.
Plans include the development of the marina with the latest technological infrastructure, turning Larnaca port it into one capable of serving large vessels, with the expansion of piers and docks and the construction of a modern passenger terminal.
The consortium is also planning residential and commercial development with innovative architecture, streets, and parks.
The new Marina will include dining and leisure facilities such as restaurants, cafes and playgrounds, and other commercial facilities.
Tourist accommodations and luxury villas are also to be included in the real estate development of the project, while state-of-the-art educational and medical centres will accommodate students who will be carrying out their practical training in occupations related to the maritime and tourism industries.
The real estate project is expected to be completed over 10 to 15 years.
The entire development is to cost more than €1 bln, making it the largest investment in Cyprus to date expected to generate some 2,500 new jobs.
Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Larnaca district mayors, Karousos called it a “historic development” for the town and district of Larnaca, as well as for Cyprus in general.
“I am in the happy position to announce that negotiations for the development of the port and marina of Larnaca ended with success. It is an investment of €1 bln with multiple benefits for Larnaca and the country’s economy,” Karousos said.
Deputy government spokesperson Panayiotis Sentonas said: “It is a project of great added value for our country as it is expected to increase economic activity in both Larnaca and elsewhere. It is estimated the project will contribute some €126 mln to the GDP annually”.
Larnaca Mayor Andreas Vyras said the deal was a “pleasant surprise” as the town has been waiting for decades to see its marina upgraded.
“This is a new era for Larnaca. The development will boost the town’s economy and create a great number of jobs”.
Vyras told reporters that according to updates from government officials, the project is to follow the municipalities environmental and other building guidelines submitted to the consortium.
The Larnaca Mayor said that, as agreed, the consortium, which will operate Larnaca port, will avoid harbouring shipments containing radioactive material or substances which cause harm to the environment.
The consortium is to deepen and expand the port so that it can accommodate large cruise ships. The consortium will undertake initiatives to attract cruise operators.
Vyras said “taking into consideration the prospect of moving the oil tanks away from Larnaca, which will free the land they were occupying, one can imagine the economic growth prospects Larnaca has for the coming years”
He argued that the Larnaca port and marina development project is far bigger than the marina project in Ayia Napa.
“Based on the information received, it is possible to start investment work in about six months from now.”