Within the next two weeks answers will be given for several stalled infrastructure projects, Minister of Transport Alexis Vafeades said on Wednesday.

Speaking on CyBC’s morning programme, Vafeades first addressed the impasse over Larnaca’s revamped port, recalling that the ministry had sought the opinion of the legal service to clarify its options for proceeding with concession holder Kition Ocean Holdings (KOC).

“The matter has been clarified for us and discussions are underway at the ministry, which now has to make a decision,” Vafeades said, noting that this would be announced within the next ten days.

Asked if there was room to cancel the contract with KOC, the minister, who has received scathing remarks from the company in the past, said one option was indeed to take Kition to task for breach of contractual terms. In this case, it would be well-feasible for Larnaca’s port to revert to management by the state’s Ports Authority, he said.

The matter was a “complicated one which must be handled correctly” Vafeades said, noting that the ministry’s approach to all projects is “positive and constructive”.

“We want to see the project to completion, but we draw certain red lines to safeguard public interest,” the minister said.

Among these is the fact that the state expects the payment of a promised guarantee, which the company has refused to produce, and there has been no contact with KOC since a presidential intervention in the matter in mid-April.

“We consider this an ongoing transgression of terms and thus the assessment of our options with input from the legal service,” Vafeades said.

The ministry is duly considering for the Larnaca port to default to management by the ports authority in its effort to “prepare for all eventualities” the minister added. Should it come to this, there is keen interest from other investors which would yield results within a short timeframe, he said.

“If a breach of contract is determined, there are many investors with an interest in project in Cyprus,” Vafeades claimed, explaining that the ports authority, legally in charge of the ports since the 1970s, has both the expertise and the capacity to manage the port in the interim.

The minister noted, however, that “no decision has yet been taken.”

Vafeades also addressed another major project, the Polis to Paphos highway, about which various parties have expressed concern over delays which have left the project currently just shy of one third complete.

Discussions to move forward have been constructive and solutions are being hammered out, the minister said.

“Talks are being held in a very constructive climate,” and solutions are being found to technical problems impacting the project, he said.

“We met with a senior member of the construction company and have discussed the technical issues. The company is very clear it wants to continue,” the minister added. Representatives will have a follow-up meeting on Monday,  June 3 to record the problems and determine next steps, the minister said noting he was optimistic that solutions would be found.

Other road works mired in delays include the Limassol to Platres road and the roads to Arakapas and Saittas. Contractors will have their demands evaluated and dealt with by the ministry, according to due process and legislation, Vafeades said. The Nicosia ring road is expected to be handed over next month.

In the interest of improving the efficiency of public works, which chronically end up being bogged down in delays and changes in contractor demands, the Department of Public Works has undertaken research to see exactly where the problem lies, the minister said.

In some cases, the matter may be attributable to possible weaknesses in original plans, and corrective measures will be introduced by the ministry should this be substantiated, Vafeades said.