Cyprus has signed concession agreements with internationally acclaimed consortia on the commercial operations of Limassol port, paving the way for a “new era” for the development of the island`s commercial hub as well as the local economy, Minister of Transport, Communications and Works Marios Demetriades has said.
The consortium of EUROGATE International GmbH (majority participant), Interorient Navigation Company ltd and East Med Holdings S.A received the concession for the Container Terminal, and the consortium of companies DP World Limited (majority participant) and G.A.P Vassilopoulos Public Ltd received two separate concessions for the operation of Marine Services the Multi-purpose Terminal.
“Our country’s economy has gained a new gateway for future growth. A new era begins for Limassol Port,” Demetriades said today, speaking at the signing ceremony at the Presidential Palace.
Regarding the concession agreements, the state retains ownership of the Limassol Port, with the operators capitalising on their experience and know-how to ensure the future development via growth of commercial activities and the implementation of best operational practice.
“The estimated economic benefit to the State, in proceeds and investments, during the tenor of the agreements (25 years) is approximately 1.9 billion euro, based on the business plans of the concessionaires,” he stressed, noting that the amount exceeds the initial expectations of the government, while the beneficial consequences to the Cypriot economy from increased activity at Limassol Port for the economy cannot be understated.
On his part, Ministry of Transport Permanent Secretary, Alecos Michaelides said this project is the second largest Public Private Partnership in Cyprus, following the construction and operation of Cyprus’ airports.
“The commercialization of the activities of Limassol Port is more than a project that offers significant financial benefits to the Cypriot economy and the taxpayer. It is a project of strategic importance for our country, which will not only improve the port’s competitiveness in the next decades, but it will also help revitalise the economy and accelerate its return to higher percentage growth.”
On his part, Thomas Heinrich Eckelman, President of Eurogate International said the organisation aspires to increase its capacity to 500,000 TEUs over time.
Noting that the corporation capacity in the Mediterranean is 5 million TEUs in 2015, Eckelman said he aspires to increase the volume to 5,5 TEUS after operating the Limassol container terminal in the years to come.
On his part, Sultan Ahmet bin Sulayem President of DP World, said the company believes it can add value and growth to Limassol port, on the southern coast.
“One thing about DP World, we always like to see growth and unless we see growth in any case we would not be interested to be here,” he said.
The transfer of the activities of the port to the consortia is expected to be completed in approximately 9 months. In parallel, the efforts to upgrade the regulatory framework of the Cyprus Ports Authority and its transformation to a modern, independent regulatory body continue apace.
ENDS, CYPRUS NEWS AGENCY