Cyprus Mail

Investor says Ayia Napa marina project on track

By Angelos Anastasiou

A procedural letter of information from the company awarded the development of the Ayia Napa marina to the commerce ministry was falsely interpreted as a red flag for impending delays in construction, managing director Stavros Caramondanis told the Cyprus Mail on Wednesday.

According to a story ran by daily Phileleftheros on Wednesday, two pending issues which threaten to derail the agreed timelines for the construction of the project were revealed in a letter sent by Caramondanis, on behalf of the investors, to the commerce ministry.

The paper claimed the investors – Egyptian billionaire Naguib Sawiris and the Caramondani Group – are supposedly having a hard time securing debt financing to supplement the €25-million bank guarantee already presented which comprises their own contribution.

A second obstacle, the paper said, was agreement with a company to take over the management of the marina, once completed, despite acknowledging that a preliminary agreement has already been signed and updated.

But, as it turned out, the letter had merely been merely informative and in no way implied unscheduled delays or deadlocks.

“There is no problem at all – these are routine procedures,” Caramondanis told the Cyprus Mail.

“We just informed the commerce ministry of our timelines. There is already an investor, and no rational businessman would tie up €25 million without the full intention of forging ahead.”

Caramondanis said that a certain amount of bureaucracy is expected to push timeframes back slightly, but there is no question as to the investors’ commitment to the project.

“Take, for instance, the town-planning permit,” he said.

“We got it based on our initial plans, and then the government approved granting 14,000 squared metres of state land to the project, as an incentive to investors – which, by the way, is something offered to all investors in all marinas, to spur investment in the face of the ongoing financial crisis. So now we’ve applied for a new permit, incorporating the land granted in our plans. It’s all an ongoing process, and there are no hiccups, as Phileleftheros implied.”

With regard to the agreement with a company to operate the marina, which is scheduled to be finished by 2018 at a cost of €220 million, Caramondanis confirmed that a preliminary deal has already been struck, but the final agreement will be signed once the marina becomes operational.

“The agreement has been updated, and will be finalised by mid-2016 – there is no ‘gap’ or problem,” he said.

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