Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades sought to clarify the reason for stalled works on the touted multimillion euro Larnaca port revamp on Tuesday.

According to the minister, a procedural hold-up on part of the managing company, Cypriot-Israeli consortium Kition Ocean Holdings, is delaying the state’s ability to review the company’s changed demands.

The minister made his statements to the state broadcaster, after it emerged earlier that the project was cloaked in mystery with local stakeholders having been unable to access any information about the actual contract or the timeframe for the works.

“The contract provides for three letters of guarantee,” the Vafeades explained, adding that the first letter from the providing company expired on January 31, and has not been reissued since, as is prescribed.

This letter was to guarantee provision of works to the tune of €10 million, the minister said.

“We’ve sought the advice of the Legal Service and we are not in a position to discuss [with the company] until the letter is in place,” he said.

According to the Larnaca chamber of commerce president Nakis Antoniou, the company had said in an email on Monday that its hands were tied due to the government refusing to discuss certain issues, and asked local stakeholders to apply their influence on the state.

But Vafeades was clear in his statements that no discussion can happen by the specially designated expert committee until the outstanding letter is received.

“We are aware the company wanted to change the scope and sequence of the works,” he said, but the end date must be upheld.

As for the apparent secrecy surrounding the contract, the minister noted that “often there are confidentiality clauses, not because they are secret, but for legal reasons the information is only available to certain parties.”

Parliament can have access to this information, in confidential form, should they request it.

Asked if the €1.2 billion deal struck by the outgoing government was a positive one and whether there were any prospects of it falling through, the minister said he was not aware of any such prospects.

“There are some things I would have done differently but, if built, it will be of great benefit to the country,” he said.

However, in earlier statements, Vafeades had expressed concerns, warning that if the company does not honour its contractual obligations “we will act accordingly” and that the ultimate measure was contract termination.