The state-run port of Larnaca is projected to earn revenues of at least €9.5m this year due to increased cargo traffic related to hydrocarbons activities, MPs heard on Monday.
The House finance committee, discussing the 2018 budget for the Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA), heard from officials that Larnaca’s port is currently operating at maximum capacity.
CPA head Petros Krassas said the increased cargo consists chiefly of equipment used in hydrocarbons-related activities in the economic waters of Egypt and Israel.
Citing earlier reports, Krassas said an estimated €4bn would be spent over the coming years on support operations for energy projects in the wider eastern Mediterranean.
The upturn in business in transit cargo was observed in late 2017 and is expected to continue throughout this year.
For 2018, the port at Larnaca is expected to earn upwards of €9.5m, compared to €7m in 2017 and €5m the previous year.
According to Krassas, by mid-March the transport ministry expects to have in hand the final proposals of investors regarding the privatisation of Larnaca port’s commercial operations.
The actual delivery of the port’s commercial operations to a private investor is expected by late 2019.
The port of Limassol, after its commercial operations were privatised last year, has since earned €48.3m from the private concessionaires.
This figure is broken down into the €10m down-payment made by the private concessionaires in 2016, plus the €36.6m licensing fees collected during 2017, and another €1.7m in licensing fees so far this year.
The privatisation of the ports was a condition for a €10bn rescue package granted to Cyprus in 2013.
Meanwhile plans are progressing for the design and construction of a new harbour at Vasilikos, outside Limassol.
The CPA’s budget for 2018 provides for revenues of €30.4m and expenditures of €35.7m.