THE POSSIBILITY of building facilities for cruise ships as part of a proposed Paphos marina at Potima was discussed at a meeting on Tuesday between the Transport Minister and the deputy tourism minister with the leadership of the Paphos Chamber of Commerce. Also participating were Paphos MPs and the town’s mayor.
Paphos tourism stakeholders have been pressing for the construction of a pier at Paphos port to allow cruise ships to dock. These are currently obliged to anchor out at sea and visitors are ferried to land by boat.
The Paphos Chamber did not disagree with the deputy tourism minister’s proposal for cruise ship facilities at the planned marina, but said that efforts to upgrade Paphos harbour should not be abandoned.
Transport Minister Vasiliki Anastasiadou told reporters after the meeting that the proposal had been given a positive reception. Studies will be carried out to examine its viability, she added.
Deputy Tourism Minister Savvas Perdios said the two ministries will prepare terms of reference for the consultant who will advise on the construction of a marina and cruise ship facilities.
“There are new developments as regards the cruise sector and these require a comprehensive approach to the issue,” he said.
“The construction of a marina is an opportunity to put Cyprus on the world cruise map and the study will show what actions must be taken so that we are successful,” he said.
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Paphos marina: background
Since an initial study was carried out more than 30 years ago, the Paphos marina project has been stalled by bureaucracy and legal battles.
In 2008 the contract was initially awarded to the Cybarco Pandora consortium of which the Leptos Group was a member. The two other bidders, Poseidon and Pafilia, contested the award claiming that the Cybarco Pandora consortium used insider information that enabled it to bid a lower figure.
Eventually, in May 2016, the marina contract was awarded to the Poseidon consortium following a legal battle. Although the consortium secured a letter from the Bank of Cyprus in which the bank guaranteed to fund the entire project, Poseidon was unable to demonstrate that it had €122 million or 60 per cent of the total project cost of €215 million.
In 2017 Pafilia Developers, which was next on the list of tenders, was invited to tender for the marina’s construction and operation.
Then, in 2018, the Supreme Court upheld an appeal by the Poseidon consortium that the committee responsible for overseeing the Paphos marina tender process was unlawful.
In July 2018 the contract to build the Paphos marina was awarded to Pafilia by the ‘new’ Marina Management Committee.
But in October, Pafilia decided to withdraw its interest.