Kition Ocean Holdings, which is overseeing the Larnaca port and marina revamp, has filed a case against the government for causing delays and breaching contract, it emerged on Tuesday.

According to CEO Oliver Corlette, the government has been unwilling to meet the company to discuss a difference in a financial guarantee.

The guarantee is one of three worth €10 million, which the company said needed to be recalculated, something the government refused, leading to the delay in the works.

“We met with them [the government] several times to try and open this discussion, but they refused to discuss the calculation even though it could have been resolved very quickly but to no avail. Last week, we applied to the Cyprus courts seeking an order to get the government to follow the agreement. We respect the court’s proceedings so we will not comment further on this matter,” Corlette said.

He added that Kition Ocean Holdings has also been “threatened” by the government, which, he said, attempted to “bully” the company by saying it would terminate the contract.

Corlette also said the government has been blocking the company from making any statements about the project without state approval.

Later in the day, Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades refuted the claims.

Speaking to Philenews, Vafeades reiterated that the company is violating an essential term of the contract due to the non-renewal of a €10 million guarantee.

“The obligation to have a guaranteed letter in place is a term of the contract, it is not something negotiable. The government has no choice but to accept that this letter of guarantee does not exist. We are in breach of contract in such a case. That is not my understanding, it is the position of the legal service as well.

“The two issues cannot be related. We have explained to them many times that they cannot correlate the changes they are requesting for the project with whether or not they will renew the guarantee,” he said

He also noted that the government understands their concerns about the project and is willing to discuss them, provided, however, that the guarantee is renewed.

“What we want to stress is that we care about the project, and we want it to succeed. We have finalised the design and planning, we have applied for the town planning and construction licenses, and we are ready to burst into action. The only thing holding us back is the government’s refusal to follow our agreement and to talk to us expeditiously,” Corlette said.

According to his statements, Kition is prepared and fully equipped to begin construction of the project on schedule. The original masterplan, approved by the town planning department, was crafted by US-based engineering firm AECOM, and the first phase of the real estate development is now being designed by the international architectural firm HKS.

This phase also includes collaboration with Cypriot-based design firms to enhance local design expertise.

“The enhancements to the port and marina were designed by Greek firm Rogan, and we have implemented a Design and Build strategy for the marine works. We have received bids and are currently evaluating them to ensure value and precision in our selections,” he said.

Corlette added significant expansions to the port’s capacity are planned, including a new administration building, updated facilities for the navy and marine police, and an agricultural building. These facilities are currently out for tender.