Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos on Friday said the planned Larnaca marina and port development will not only benefit the town but the entire Cypriot economy, adding that works are proceeding as scheduled.

He was speaking during an onsite visit to check on the progress of the marina, where he also met with representatives of Kition Ocean Holdings Ltd, the Israeli-Cypriot consortium awarded the tender in 2020.

He was accompanied by MPs of the House transport committee.

With a budget of €1.2 billion, the Larnaca marina and port development is the largest infrastructure investment in Cyprus at present.

“Everything is proceeding according to plan and I can assure the building works will begin by April 1,” Karousos said, before adding that its turnover will help pump around €120 million per year into the state coffers.

Head of the House transport committee Marinos Moushiouttas echoed Karousos’ comments and said the marina and port development project was favourably received by everyone involved.

“It will be a jewel for Larnaca and for Cyprus in general. The committee is monitoring the progress of the project, we are ready to help whenever needed,” he said.

The backing of the committee was recognised by Larnaca mayor Andreas Vyras, who expressed his satisfaction about the enthusiasm shown by all parties involved in the project.

The first phase of the project has a span of five years and provides for all the required infrastructure, including a new road.

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.