Porters to get € 32m for Limassol, Larnaca licenses
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.