Cyprus Port Assessment
Cyprus’ strategic location makes it invaluable as a trade and logistics hub. The upgrading of all its key infrastructural facilities such as ports, airports, roads and telecommunications has given the island the impetus it needs to take the sector a step further.
Cyprus is an island nation heavily dependent on international trade and its advanced transport sector has played a significant role in its economic development. The country’s flourishing shipping industry, expanding ports and airports as well as its cargo handling facilities present businesses with efficient sea and air logistics solutions.
The island has a fully upgraded port system, including the multipurpose ports of Limassol with an annual capacity of 600,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU), Larnaca with an annual capacity of 250,000 TEUs, the industrial port of Vassilikos and the specialised oil terminals of Larnaca, Dhekelia and Moni. These are all owned and managed by the Cyprus Ports Authority, which handled 7.1 million metric tonnes of cargo in 2011. Some 100 international shipping lines include Cyprus in their regular schedules, and in 2011 approximately 4,250 ships called at Cypriot ports.
The government has invested heavily in the transport infrastructure and is funding an on-going €80 million project to develop Limassol port. This involves deepening the container terminal basin and the entrance channel, the construction of a new passenger terminal and a luxury marina project. The extension of the west basin quay is expected to be completed in 2014. Limassol port is the main port of Cyprus, providing services to ships, loading and unloading of cargo and passenger traffic. The strategic position of Limassol port, Cyprus’ EU membership and the deregulation of port services lend very optimistic prospects to the future of the port and to the cargo and passenger traffic that pass through it.
The second largest port of Larnaca has also undergone significant improvements over recent years. The further development of the port has been an important priority for the Cyprus Ports Authority, while the Government has been promoting the development of Larnaca marina. After two years of negotiations the government has signed a €700 million agreement with a private consortium to develop both the Larnaca port and marina. Following various studies, Larnaca will be converted into the main port for cruise lines and passenger traffic, with certain trade activities covering local cargoes and needs. Today it is a multipurpose port handling various types of cargo including unpacked (animal fodder, grain, gypsum), conventional (lumber, iron, fertilizers, automobiles) and oil products.
Development plans for Vassilikos include the construction of a major oil and gas import and distribution terminal, which is set to be completed in 2014. The Vassilikos area is also the main port for industrial and dirty bulk cargo, catering to various types of imports and exports, with the primary export cargo being cement with 350,000 tonnes.
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