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Kition Ocean Holdings responds to latest statements by the Ministry of Transport

"Kition Ocean Holdings (Kition) is fully prepared, as soon as it has clarity about the works, to initiate the transformational project of Larnaka, having secured the necessary capital, assembled a competent team, and established the required processes," the company has said in an announcement, following government statements expressing concern over a €4.2 million guarantee connected to the project not yet being paid.

The matter is anticipated to be discussed before the 24 April meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Transport, Works and Communications, in the presence - among others - of the Minister of Transport, Works and Communications Alexis Vafeades, the Auditor General Odysseas Michaelides and representatives of Kition.

The company's announcement, meanwhile, continued, "Kition is ready to provide the Operations & Maintenance (O&M) guarantee as previously planned. However, we are currently facing challenges as the Ministry has not yet agreed to meet with us to discuss the guarantee amount."

"On April 15, 2024, Kition met with the President of the Republic and other key officials. During this meeting, Kition concurred with the government's request but emphasized that subsequent discussions with the Government should adhere to the set dispute resolution timeline outlined in our Concession Agreement. This timeline is crucial for effective planning and implementation of the works for the project.

We left the meeting confident that we reached a mutual understanding, yet when we sought confirmation of what had been agreed, the Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works did not affirm the discussion's content and refused to follow the process stated in the Agreement and its timeframe.

Despite our surprise and sadness over this approach, we didn’t give up, and we have been communicating over the last week on a different understanding according to which we can place the guarantee and enter into a good faith discussion under a different fixed timeline. Unfortunately, the Government is not willing to commit to any specific timeframe of good faith discussions," the announcement said.

It continued, "It was our expectation that all negotiations would be conducted in good faith and within a structured timeframe that is essential to plan the implementation of the project. Instead, we were surprised that the Minister is holding the “negotiations” through the media without us. It is extremely unfortunate that each time we learn for the first time what the Ministry’s position is by reading about it in the press. For example, no deadlines were communicated to us either in the meeting at the Presidential Palace or following the meeting regarding the guarantee. Instead, we read about the Minister’s arbitrary deadlines and threats in the press.

The development of the Larnaka port and Marina is the largest project in Cyprus. Unfortunately, it seems to us that there is more regard about appearances than about ensuring the future of the project. If the Ministry would have been investing the time they spent talking with the media to discuss with us, we would already be behind this situation. We ask the Ministry to change their way of acting.

Kition is only asking what the agreement itself provides and in accordance with the law."

The company's announcement concluded, "Kition Ocean Holdings’ approach has always been to pursue transparent and lawful avenues to resolve any disputes, but if this is not possible, the matter will have to be decided by the Cyprus courts. We are still hoping that through dialogue pending matters will be resolved, and we are actively working towards this so that the project can move forward."

Also read: Parliament to be briefed on ongoing €1.2 billion Larnaca port and marina saga

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