Cyprus Mail

North approves move to privatise ports

feature esra main one of the confidence building measures is putting the customs services in famagusta port under eu administration

The north’s ‘cabinet’ approved a bill to privatise its ports on Thursday evening.

The move was published in the ‘official gazette’ on Friday morning, with tenders set to be announced.

After the move was announced, ‘transport minister’ Erhan Arikli said the current state of the ports “has drawn attention to making investments”.

He added, “the Famagusta port in particular has come to the point of collapse due to negligence. A team from Turkey has warned us that the port will become unusable if not repaired.”

Arikli’s words come weeks after rainfall in Famagusta caused the port’s customs area to flood, damaging imported goods which were being stored for collection.

“We are taking the necessary steps and quickly, and the privatisation will take place through the build-operate-transfer model,” he said.

In addition, Arikli confirmed that a new port will be built in Galateia for the purpose of container and cargo transportation, while the existing Famagusta port “will provide completely tourism-oriented services”.

He also suggested building a dock for cruise ships in Kyrenia.

Repairs to the Famagusta and Kyrenia ports are expected to cost between $5 million (€4.7m) and $8m (€7.5m).

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