By Angelos Anastasiou
Construction of the Ayia Napa marina project will start as soon as building permits have been issued and tenders have been invited for contractor work, local development powerhouse Caramondani Bros’ Yerasimos Caramondanis said on Tuesday.
Caramondanis said the company was in talks with Egyptian billionaire businessman Naguib Sawiris for over a year, before clinching a 70/30 agreement for funding the €220 million project.
“We gave him 70 per cent of the project, and we will keep 30 per cent – which, I think, is more than enough,” he told state radio.
Caramondanis said that all necessary permits must be issued, starting with building permits, before construction work can begin.
“As of yesterday, we are awaiting the building permits”, he said, referring to Monday’s meeting of Sawiris and a delegation from Caramondani Bros with President Nicos Anastasiades at the Presidential Palace. “These are usually time-consuming but because this is considered a top-priority investment, we hope they won’t take too long”.
But even then, he added, it will still be a few months before building can commence, because tenders need to be invited.
“Once the permits are issued, the investor will transfer funds into local banks, so that construction work can start”, said Caramondanis. “There will be a delay of six months before tenders need to be invited and awarded, so construction is scheduled to start in mid-2015”.
The project is expected to take three years to conclude, and will develop some 1,200 metres of beachfront. In all, it is expected to create around 1,000 jobs – 800 during the construction phase and 200 required for the marina’s operation.
Meanwhile, Makronisos Marina CEO Stavros Caramondanis on Tuesday issued an announcement thanking the “project team that contributed to the development of the Ayia Napa marina on the occasion of signing an agreement with Egyptian investor Naguib Sawiris”.
The team included various planners, architects, engineers, and legal advisors. Caramondanis added that completion of the project will be a tribute to the late former Ayia Napa mayor Antonis Tsokkos, who had “showered the project with love and fought for the continuance of the process”.
Developing the Ayia Napa marina had been a vision of many a government for decades but had variously stumbled upon government bureaucracy and the lack of funding.