Cyprus needs more ports as there is currently not enough docking space on the island, Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) president Petros Kassas said on Monday while presenting the authority’s budget for 2021.

Krassas said that it would be possible to expand Limassol port, the island’s main trading spot, as the CPA still owns 1,000 metres of space opposite the south pier. However, he added, as the port was privatised in 2017 the authority cannot redevelop the space, nor get involved in docking operations.

He also said that the Larnaca port could be expanded by 850 metres, adding there are plans for the construction of a new port at Vasiliko.

The CPA is expected to hand Larnaca port over to a private developer towards the end of the year and take on a more regulatory role, he said. While safety planning will remain with the CPA, financial planning such as decisions on tariffs and charges will be up to the ministry of transport.

With regards to the budget, Krassas said the CPA aims to spend any surplus income on investments, pointing to a €35 million investment that will more than double the size of Latchi port.

Asking whether ports have become more competitive following privatisation, Stefanos Stefanou of Akel suggested the purchase of a towage service costing €1.7 million for Larnaca to relieve the CPA of towage duties.

In response, Krassas said two of the three tugboats owned by the CPA were handed over to the consortium running Limassol port. The third one remains at Larnaca port but a €650,000 restoration has been deemed unnecessary.

The CPA’s budget for 2021 projects a surplus of €0.26 million, with revenues at €32.45 million and expenditures at €32.19 million. Regular expenditures were budgeted at €220 million with capital expenditures at €10.6 million. The total staff cost is €10 million.

Finally, the cruise ships that have been laid-up off the coast because of the pandemic have generated an extra €70,000 for the CPA.