No investment has been made in Famagusta and Kyrenia ports and the plan is to privatise both ports, Minister of Public Works and Transport Erhan Arıklı said, Kibris Gazetesi reports.
In a statement he made on a BRT broadcast, Arıklı said “Since Kyrenia and Famagusta ports will be privatised, no investment has been made to date. No budget was allocated. These two ports have almost collapsed due to lack of maintenance and investment“.
He said that the government’s priority is Famagusta Port.
“We discussed the issue at the Council of Ministers. We have determined what needs to be done in a very urgent, short and medium term. The containers in Famagusta Port create serious pollution. There is an urgent need to open a special area for containers and lorries. Security is very important for us. Taking the gates under control and installing a camera system, demolishing the buildings that need to be demolished, reorganising the passenger lounges are urgent things to be done”, Arıklı said.
The transport minister went on to say that between five and eight million dollars are required for urgent work to be undertaken on both Famagusta and Kyrenia ports. The government is currently in negotiations with shipping agents to this end, he said.
Minister Arıklı said that Gemikonağı Port is also under consideration for the medium term.
“Famagusta and Kyrenia Ports have become city harbours and there is no possibility of expansion. We are considering Kalecik Port as an alternative to Famagusta Port. The shipyard and free port there will be moved. Famagusta Port will become solely a tourism port. The shipyard and cargo port will be moved to Kalecik. This is a medium-term job. Approximately 300 million dollars of investment is required for Famagusta and Kalecik harbour. I think we can do this with the build-operate-transfer model.
“So far, around 8-10 companies from Turkey have received technical information from us. There is interest in both harbours. We are considering Kyrenia Port as a tourism port only. There will be no lorry transport there…We will transfer the lorry transport to both Gemikonağı and Kalecik port. A port will be built in Kyrenia Harbour where cruise ships can dock. Our 3rd port Gemikonağı will boost the TRNC economy. If the CMC mines are disposed of in a short time and the 2,000 acres there are combined with Gemikonağı Port, it will create tremendous wealth. Within that 2,000 acres, hotels, shopping centres and all kinds of investments will be made possible”, Arıklı said.
The transport minister noted that his department is in talks with the Security Forces Command and the General Directorate of Police in order to end the long wait for passengers at Ercan Airport while going through immigration. He said that he will be presenting them with a proposal.