FIVE proposals of interest from various joint ventures have been submitted to develop Larnaca port and the town’s marina; the bidders have yet to be named.
According to an official press release, the proposals will be evaluated, both with regard to the financial as well as the technical criteria, by a group of technocrats and the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works. The evaluation will begin immediately.
The assessment is expected to be completed by the end of April. The stakeholders who will be selected will receive an Invitation to Tender and a draft of the Concession Agreement.
In Autumn the proposals of interest of financial operators, who will have been selected, are expected to be submitted for evaluation, in order to allow the concession contract with the successful economic operator.
The project has been stalled by bureaucracy and legal wrangles for more than 25 years.
In July 2008 it was announced that the contract for the Larnaca marina had been awarded to the Zenon Consortium, but the consortium failed to find the necessary funds.
In November 2016 the Cyprus government made a second attempt to find investigators for the project and invited proposals from interested parties. An initial deadline to receive proposals was set at 3rd March, but this was subsequently extended to 20th March.
A new plan for the Larnaca marina and port was announced by the Transport Ministry in January 2017. According to reports the marina is set to be the largest in Cyprus, with the new marina and port involving a development of up to 510,000 square meters and could include the construction of a large number of small to medium-sized apartments, a few luxury villas, a hotel, offices and a commercial centre.
Cyprus is in a favourable position to act as a stop for cruise ships, being in the eastern Mediterranean, it is a single day’s sailing from destinations such as Rhodes, Crete, Antalya, Marmara, Alexandria and Port Said.
Although the prevailing political tensions in the Middle East have diverted cruise ships from Israel and Lebanon, the study is confident that the close proximity of the Larnaca port to the old town will and permits short trips around the island to archaeological sites etc.
At the same time, the large distances between destinations favours the creation of berths for 100m mega and Giga yachts in order to stock up on supplies and for refuelling.