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Plenty of bids for Cyprus port privatisation, workers not so happy though

Plenty of bids for Cyprus port privatisation, workers not so happy though
The Cypriot government’s vision to transform Limassol port into “a gateway to development for the future” has attracted a good deal of interest with the Transport Ministry receiving 14 bids for the commercialisation of the port.

Privatisation of commercial operations at Limassol and Larnaca ports is an obligation stemming from the bailout deal between Cyprus and international creditors.

“We are very satisfied both by the number of participants and the quality of operators that submitted bids,” said Transport Ministry permanent secretary, Alecos Michaelides. He added: “They are financially sound companies, internationally recognised for their experience in operating similar terminals and services.”

The 14 bidders emerged after a successful round of due diligence and two rounds of consultations with the pre-qualified bidders said the ministry.

Six proposals were received for the container terminal, three for the marine services and five for the multipurpose terminal, the ministry said. The process now enters the stage of detailed review and evaluation of the submissions, which is expected to take a few weeks. Until then, no further announcements should be expected.

The plan is to have the preferred bidders before the end of March, in line with the process so far, and to pursue thereafter final approval of parliament and the signing of the agreement to operate the island’s biggest port and home of the country’s ship management cluster, one of the largest third-party management clusters in the world.

Meanwhile, Cyprus port workers continue to demand a say in the running of the ports and have in recent weeks staged work stoppages in Limassol and the country’s second port, Larnaca.

Some employees are expected to be made redundant once the ports’ commercial operations are handed over to private operators and Cyprus Ports Authority (CPA) employees’ union chairman, Demetris Patsalos said, 12 January, the government needed to take their request more seriously. He said: “On 14 December last year, we had sent a letter to the ministry in which we had offered our services – as workers of the port – to undertake the operations of the ports once the ownership changes hands. The government had told us it was not possible because it would violate competition laws.”