Porters to get € 32m for Li­mas­sol, Lar­naca li­censes

Financial Mirror (Cyprus) - - FRONT PAGE -

Porter com­pa­nies at Li­mas­sol port will get EUR 28 mln in com­pen­sa­tion for their li­censes, equalling a cool EUR 1 mln for each of the 28 porters, but lift­ing the fi­nal hur­dle in ten­der­ing out the man­age­ment of the port’s ser­vices to pri­vate bid­ders.

The gov­ern­ment, act­ing as land­lord and fu­ture reg­u­la­tor of the is­land’s com­mer­cial ports, will pro­vide a fur­ther EUR 3.6 mln to the porters op­er­at­ing in Lar­naca port, once the man­age­ment agree­ment has been con­cluded with fi­nal­ist Zenon Con­sor­tium.

Trans­port Min­is­ter Mar­ios Deme­tri­ades said that a pre­lim­i­nary agree­ment with the Li­mas­sol porters should be signed “within a few days”, but should be pa­tient for the one in Lar­naca.

The gov­ern­ment-owned Cyprus Ports Au­thor­ity has put out to ten­der three ser­vices at Li­mas­sol port for the con­tainer ter­mi­nal (25-30 years), marine ser­vices (10-20 years) and the pas­sen­ger and com­mer­cial ter­mi­nal (25-30 years), with some 70 com­pa­nies al­ready keen to sub­mit an ex­pres­sion of in­ter­est (EoI) by the July 17 dead­line.

This is the is­land’s main com­mer­cial port ca­pa­ble of dock­ing ves­sels up to 340m in length and han­dles all of the con­tainer traf­fic (im­ports, ex­ports, transit re-ex­ports) and ac­counts for 40-50% of to­tal cargo by ton­nage. The nearby Vas­si­liko port is an ex­clu­sive ce­ment ex­port­ing and oil stor­age fa­cil­ity that han­dles the rest of the is­land’s cargo by ton­nage.

Li­mas­sol port also han­dles about 75% of cruise and pas­sen­ger traf­fic, with the rest han­dled by Lar­naca port and ma­rina, that is des­ig­nated as the ‘home port’.

The pri­vati­sa­tion of the CPA’s ser­vices with the Li­mas­sol port op­er­a­tor cho­sen by the first quar­ter of 2016, is part of the gov­ern­ment’s public sec­tor re­form that will see the state aban­don­ing com­mer­cial ac­tiv­i­ties in port man­age­ment, telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions and elec­tric­ity pro­duc­tion, and re­tain­ing only the own­er­ship of the ports, the na­tional power grids and tele­com net­works.

In ac­cor­dance with the eco­nomic ad­just­ment pro­gramme signed with the Troika of in­ter­na­tional lenders, Cyprus needs to raise about EUR 1.4 bln from the sale of as­sets and out­sourc­ing ser­vices, cut­ting back on its huge public sec­tor pay­roll and ser­vic­ing the EUR 10 bln bailout that res­cued the is­land from col­lapse and the banks from a melt­down.

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