The president of the Cyprus Ports Authority (Alk) Antonis Stylianou this week presented a strategic development model, which is aimed at addressing the evolving conditions in the modern port environment.

According to the presentation, the project, a result of efforts by the authority’s outgoing board of directors, aims to make the authority more modern, sustainable and outward-looking.

Stylianou emphasised the imperative of a maritime strategic development model in response to the continuous changes in the port landscape.

In addition, Stylianou highlighted the challenges faced by ports, particularly the need for a green transition, increased productivity, and enhanced efficiency in managing port and shipping data.

In addressing the challenges, Stylianou underlined the importance of embracing advanced technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and blockchain.

Moreover, he explained that these technologies, coupled with advanced data extraction tools, would transform the current port environment into an advanced holistic system, enabling continuous optimisation with safety measures ensuring accuracy and transparency.

“The use of artificial intelligence technology, advanced analysis systems, machine intelligence, blockchain technologies, subsequent applications, network integration, and advanced data technologies will transform today’s port environment into a sophisticated holistic system,” said Stylianou.

Stylianou provided an overview of the Cyprus Ports Authority’s accomplishments during the period from July 2021 to the end of January 2024, highlighting achievements, challenges, and prospects. Notable developments included the commercialisation of the New Port of Limassol and the Port of Larnaca, emphasising the enhanced role of the authority in supervision and regulation.

Furthermore, Stylianou outlined key decisions made by the outgoing board, including the expansion of the Port of Vasiliko, development actions for the green transition, and the adoption of a new Strategic

Development Plan. He stressed that the authority is getting on a new journey, characterised by sustainability, productivity, and a forward-looking vision.

As the outgoing, Stylianou said, “The Cyprus Ports Authority, having completed 50 years since its establishment in 2023, is now proceeding to a new voyage, renewed, sustainable, productive, outward-looking and with a development horizon.”

Reflecting on the history of the Cyprus Ports Authority, Stylianou acknowledged the impact of the Turkish invasion in 1974 but highlighted the organisation’s resilience and development over the past 50 years. “The ports of Famagusta, Kyrenia, Karavostasi, as well as our occupied lighthouses, have been judged as closed ports, they are not under the responsibility or authority of the Cyprus Ports Authority at this stage and we expect a fair resolution of the Cyprus problem,” he added.

During the board’s term, significant interventions were noted, including the rationalisation of licence granting, green transition initiatives, and infrastructure projects. Stylianou commended the board’s proactive approach, with 214 public interventions, 11 participations in international forums, 56 charity events, and 70 official interventions.

During the recent term, the Board of Directors made significant strides in the management of the Cyprus Ports Authority (Alk). They focused on key initiatives such as rationalising licenses for spaces in the Vasilikos/Zygio Port Area and deciding on the spatial placement of green transition/blue economy uses in the same area.

Notable projects included constructing an 80-metre-long parking lot in the New Port of Limassol, implementing a new zoning plan in the retained area of the new port, and beautifying the retained area.

The board also renovated the meeting room in the administration building, upgraded the Waste Collection Service, and awarded tenders for the expansion/development of the Port of Latsi and real estate at the Port of Paphos.

In terms of social responsibility, the board concessioned the “En Plo” hall to the Paphos Municipality for cultural purposes. They installed a closed surveillance system in the Old Port of Limassol and a photography point as part of the branding policy. Plans were set for a pedestrian bridge connecting the Old Port of Limassol with the Limassol Marina. Strengthened security measures were implemented in the Vasilikos-Zygi Port Area, including leasing the ‘BBC Antenna’ area, and expanding the Port of Vassiliko.

Technological advancements included installing onboard autonomous fire extinguishing systems, a Navigation Monitoring Station at the Port of Larnaca, a backup radar in the New Port of Limassol, and a single electronic access control system in the New Port.

The board purchased a patrol vessel, assigned a Responsible Coordinator for Navigational Aids, and streamlined waste fuel storage procedures in the Port of Vasiliko. Successful audits by the European Maritime Safety Agency and the International Maritime Organisation were achieved.

In terms of the authority’s modernisation efforts, Stylianou emphasised Alk’s proactive approach to navigating the dynamic port and maritime industry environment.

He explained that the authority played a central role in promoting Cyprus’ port product locally, regionally, and globally, with a positive impact on the Alk budget and the initiation of green transition actions.

Stylianou stresses the importance of establishing a “port-city interface” that benefits both ports and urban areas. He highlights the need to consider local conditions and the national ecosystem, portraying the Cyprus Ports Authority as a stable and essential component with a crucial role in the state’s peaceful mission.

In conclusion, Stylianou emphasises, “We shouldn’t overlook local conditions and the national ecosystem, especially for ports in our city centres. We need to create a port-city interface that benefits both sides.”