PLANS for the new Limassol marina have run aground temporarily according to a report in today’s Cyprus Mail. The town’s mayor Andreas Christou has confirmed that the project, which is expected to cost around €170 million, is having difficulty raising the necessary funding.
Talking to the Mail, Mr Christou said “There are certain issues in relation to the guarantees that the banks are asking for the Limassol Marina project. A dialogue has started between the contractor, the government and bank representatives so that we can find a solution and start the project.”
Adding “It was inevitable that we would have difficulties with the banks. It was not something that surprised us, the investors or the government.”
The Cyprus banks have expressed an interest in lending for the project. However, in light of the current financial crisis, they are looking for more guarantees – possibly from the government.
“It is possible that they want more state guarantees. It may possibly be related to the period of crisis that we are going through.
“Until recently the potential of selling flats and residences that would be constructed was considered sufficient guarantee. But apparently the downturn in the Cyprus property market is causing banks to ask for more,” he explained.
The mayor highlighted the fact that the creation of the marina could give a much-needed boost to the market by creating jobs and increasing the potential for tourism.
“We are interested in starting work immediately because the period that we are going through, when labour can be employed for such a demanding project, would ease pressures that are already appearing in the labour market and would enrich our tourist product.”
Once the project gets underway, the marina is expected to be completed in two years and the surrounding residential area in six to seven years.