By Jean Christou
A TOTAL of 33 operators submitted written expressions of interest for the Limassol port concessions, the permanent secretary of the transport ministry and chairman of the Cyprus Ports Authority Alecos Michaelides said on Friday.
“It is very encouraging that we have 33 operators that submitted documents and we are proceeding immediately to the next stage, i.e. the evaluation and preparation of the final tender document,” Michaelides said.
Initially, there had been around 70 enquiries about the concessions, indicating that a resulting 33 written expressions showed a huge interest.
Michaelides said the evaluations would be completed in early August and the successful operators would be shortlisted and asked to submit formal bids, which are scheduled to be by the end of November.
“During this time, there will be meetings with the project team and consultants from the ministry of transport and those interested will be given any information they need for the preparation of the bid,” he said.
The entire process is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2016. Based on the tender documents, the tender is in three parts: the licensing for the container terminal, licensing for the provision of maritime services and the licensing for a multi-purpose passenger terminal.
According to the contracting authority, the length of licence for the container terminal and multi-use terminal is expected to range from 25 to 30 years and for maritime services from 10-20 years. Interested parties may bid for one or more of the licences on offer.
The public tender for the privatisation of the port opened on June 18 and closed on Friday.
Limassol port’s commercial operations are to be privatised under a deal between the government and international creditors.
High docking fees and uncompetitive services were major reasons why Cyprus lost its status as the main Mediterranean transshipment hub. Malta now holds that distinction.