Things still up in the air regarding new Larnaca marina and port

The countdown has begun for decisions to be made regarding the difference that has arisen between the state and the contractor company that undertook the development of the port and marina of Larnaca, Kition Ocean Port.

According to what has been told to InBusinessNews by the Minister of Transport, Communications and Works, Alexis Vafeades, the Law Office of the Republic has sent the Ministry an opinion on how to handle the matter that arose, as a result of Kition not submitting a letter of guarantee.

Vafeades and Attorney General George L. Savvides are pictured above.

"We have received the opinion of the Law Office and requested some clarifications, which we await. We are in constant consultation with the Law Office, in order to make the right decisions, since the content of the opinion is quite legalistic," he added.

"I'm not a lawyer and as you can understand we asked for and we expect some things to be clarified," he stressed, underlining at the same time that "we expect this process to be completed, for the matter to be fully clarified, in order to proceed further and reach our finals decisions".

"We are trying to understand the legal framework"

Asked whether the opinion paves the way for termination of the contract with Kition, Mr. Vafeadis did not want to make any comment, repeating that "we are studying the opinion of the Law Office and we expect to be given the clarifications we requested, so that we can reach the appropriate decisions".

"At the moment, we are at the stage where we are trying to understand the legal framework within which we can act and we are waiting for some points of the opinion to be explained to us," he pointed out.

At the same time, the Minister of Transport clarified that "our next steps will depend on the clarifications we receive from the Law Office".

Asked when the opinion of the Law Office is expected to be fully clarified, Vafeades expressed the opinion that it will take a few more days, without, however, setting any specific timetable regarding the final decisions of the Government.

No reaction from Kition

Asked to say if there had been any reaction from Kition and whether the company submitted the guarantee, Vafeades stated that "we have no information from the company as to whether it intends to submit the guarantee."

"However, we believe that too much time has passed, they have not filed it, and therefore it appears that they do not intend to do so."

Commenting that the company is probably waiting for the state to act after the opinion of the Law Office, the Minister of Transport indicated that "the company must comply with its obligations, in accordance with what is provided for in the contract itself, and not wait to see what we will do."

"What we will do, however, will depend on the instructions, directions that the Law Office will give us," he further emphasised.

Plan B

It is recalled that in his statements during the recent discussion of the issue at the Parliamentary Committee on Transport , Vafeades had referred for the first time to plan B in case the contract with Kition is terminated.

According to Vafeades, in such a case, there are procedures that will be followed for the state to take over the management of the port, initially through subcontractors and then by appointing its own contractors.

This, on a practical level, means that the management of the project will return to the state, which, by terminating the contract with Kition, will proceed to announce a new tender in search of a new contractor to continue and complete the development.

What about the projects?

Regarding the construction projects, Vafeades pointed out, speaking to InBusinessNews, that "for the projects, an extension was given to their start date by the competent Committee and in no case at this moment can we say that there is any delay, since the this date has not yet passed."

"The only work that has practically been done is the maintenance of the traditional wharf, which - according to the company - has been completed, but checks are being carried out by the Department of Town Planning and the Municipality of Larnaca to establish whether the work has been done in accordance with the specifications that have been set," he added.

Furthermore, Vafeades reminded that during the summer - the beginning of June - the construction works described and included in the first phase of the project should begin.

(Source: InBusinessNews)

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