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Doubts raised over development of Larnaca port

larnaca port
An artist's impression of some of the new facilities

Serious concerns were raised on Tuesday over whether the company assigned to take on the expansion and restoration of Larnaca port will be able to complete the works.

The company, Kition Ocean Holdings, was assigned the €1.2 billion project two years ago but has yet to start any of the works, it has emerged.

Works on the project, according to what had originally been announced, were meant to start in April 2023, but received an extension to March-April 2024. However, this condition has also not been met, and works are now meant to start in June 2024.

But Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades said there are now doubts whether this deadline will be honoured by the company.

A spokesperson for Kition Ocean Holdings told the StockWatch website “under the terms of the contract, the company does not have the authority to make statements or provide updates on the progress of the project. Only the government has that authority”.

However, Vafeades expressed strong concern about the progress of the project.

He said that “until we see real projects and actions on the ground, we will not be complacent.

“Without seeing works, I cannot say I am happy,” he added.

He warned that if the company does not honour the contractual obligations, then “we will act accordingly”.

Regarding the consultation with the company, Vafeades explained that both he and the project management team are in constant contact with the members of the consortium.

“I personally had a meeting with them a few weeks ago during which I made it clear that the major projects should start because several extensions have been granted to date by the relevant committee of the ministry, with the last one expiring in June 2024,” he said.

However, Larnaca Disy MP Prodromos Alambritis said that two years into the company taking the plan over, they haven’t seen any works, aside from a few small projects.

Speaking to Cyprus Mail, Larnaca Akel MP Andreas Pasiourtides said the latest information they have is that work will start in either May or June.

“We are closely monitoring, and if there is problem we will react and request for a detailed report and answers on the project,” he said.

The project was originally approved by former President Nicos Anastasiades in April 2022.

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