With a budget of €1.2 billion, the Larnaca marina and port development is the largest infrastructure investment in Cyprus at present, Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos said on Wednesday.
The minister was speaking after a meeting with Kition Ocean Holdings Ltd, the Israeli-Cypriot consortium awarded the tender in 2020, where he was shown the master plan for the project, which will be completed in four phases.
Karousos said that the master plan has been submitted to the ministry for final approval and will later be forwarded to the town planning department.
“This is the largest investment in Cyprus at the moment, with a budget of €1.2 billion, and it is finally on its way to being realised,” he said, adding that he was confident works on the project would begin within schedule, on April 1.
“We know that the public like to see words turn into actions, and today with the submission of the final plan we are showing them that we are moving forward.”
The submission of the master plan is a landmark moment, Kition Ocean Holdings executive director Panos Alexandrou said, adding that he hopes it will be approved in the next 10 days.
“We are pleased to announce that everything is going according to plan, and we are ready to begin building works, hopefully on April 1 when we take over.”
The first phase of the project has a span of five years and provides for all the required infrastructure, including a new road.
“We are proud because this is the first time a project gets underway within the set timeframes set on day one,” Alexandrou said.
“I believe this is a sign that more similar projects are possible with good will and cooperation, and hope that this will be followed by other large investments.”
Plans for expanding and privatising the Larnaca marina have been plagued by years of delays and failure to find investors.
Back in 2010 the government struck a deal with Zenon Consortium for a €700m project to transform both the existing port and marina. The consortium failed to raise the necessary funds even though the government extended the deadline up to 20 times until 2015 when the deal finally fell through.
Much of the blame then fell on the recession and the 2013 banking crisis.