articles | 10 February 2014

Cyprus to lease some of Ports Authority's commercial activities, Minister says

Cyprus plans to lease some of the island's Port Authority commercial activities, reveals Cyprus Minister of Communications and Works Tasos Mitsopoulos.

"The state will remain the owner of the Ports Authority. What is under discussion is a lease agreement for a specific period to a private investor for some of the Authority`s commercial activities, if there is interest," Mitsopoulos said speaking after a meeting with the Limassol Chamber of Commerce and Industry on the government`s plans over the ports, shipping and public transport. As part of the conditions for a €10 billion financial assistance granted by the EU and the IMF, Cyprus has undertaken a privatizations plan covering the Cyprus Telecommunications Authority, the Cyprus Electricity Authority and the CPA.

Mitsopoulos referred to plans to upgrade the Limassol Port, the island's largest port located in the southern coast of the island, such as the extension of the quay walls by 500 metres, the deepening of the basin, the construction of a new passenger terminal as well as the upgrading of the port`s technical equipment. "Limassol port is currently Cyprus' predominately energy port and this should be clear," he said, noting that important installations exist at the port. "We want to maintain and develop even further this infrastructure because it is very important to assist companies operating in the energy field," he added.

Cyprus entered the natural gas scene as US Noble Energy has discovered a gross mean resource of 5 trillion cubic feet of natural gas in block 12 of Exclusive Economic Zone, while the ENI - KOGAS consortium that have signed a contract for hydrocarbons exploration in blocks 2, 3 and 9 within Cyprus’ EEZ are planning to drill in the third quarter of 2014. Furthermore, French Total, which has signed a contract for blocks 10 and 11, is also going ahead with drilling at the first quarter of 2015.

Source: Famagusta Gazette

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