Inside the €1.2 billion Larnaca Port and Marina Project
Kition Ocean Holdings CEO Panos Alexandrou discusses the scale of the development for Cyprus and the Eastern Med…
In a substantial development for the Eastern Mediterranean superyacht infrastructure network, Kition Ocean Holdings has announced a significant investment in the Larnaca Port and Marina project. The tender winning investment from the Cypriot-Israeli consortium Kition Ocean Holdings is valued at €1.2 billion. According to a statement to the media, it will be the largest infrastructure project of its kind on the island at this time. The project will commence in early 2022 and be completed in several stages, by 2037.
The project will involve restructuring the Larnaca marina to include 650 yacht berths, a yacht club, a retail park, and a passenger terminal across 332,449 sqm. Speaking with SuperyachtNews, Kition Ocean Holdings CEO Panos Alexandrou outlines the scale of the project and how it hopes to grow the superyacht infrastructure network in the region.
Kition Ocean Holdings CEO, Panos Alexandrou
"As you already know Cyprus, and by extension, Larnaca marina is the last European destination when travelling from Europe towards the Middle East or Asia through the Suez Canal and the first destination when returning from these destinations to Europe", starts Alexandrou, continuing; "Additionally, the proximity of Larnaca marina to Larnaca's historic traditional centre which starts outside its main gate, as well as the Larnaca international airport of Cyprus, 7km away, a key point which will minimise travelling time to get on and off a superyacht. We, therefore, have the opportunity to create a state of the art marina at a great location."
When speaking about the refit and year-round potential that Larnaca hopes to offer, Alexandrou sees a close relationship with the neighbouring port as the key to a compelling offering: "Larnaca marina will coexist next to the renewed Larnaca port and be managed by the same group, this will give us the ability to carry out the regular and periodical superyacht servicing, maintenance and repairs within a secured service/shipyard area which will be established within the Larnaca port."
Further stressing the ambition to become a year-round destination, Alexandrou continues, "as well as the new marina having the capacity to permanently accommodate 650 yachts between 10m - 130m, it will have dedicated visitor spaces, as well as service areas for short term berthing."
“Our aim as Larnaca Marina and by extension, Cyprus, is to create a new yachting destination. This will only be possible with the collective effort from local authorities and individual companies such as ours.” States Alexandrou.
Regarding the demand for berthing in the region, Alexandrou is frank with his assessment of the current network in place: "The demand to berth Superyachts or even mid-size yachts in Cyprus is very limited at the moment, and this is because the supply and berthing capabilities for superyachts are currently minimal, on top of the fact that the current infrastructure lacks services and expertise in many cases."
Going into further detail about the reality of berthing in Cyprus at present, Alexandrou outlines the issue, as he sees it: "If the owner of a large superyacht looks at the current services and capabilities of Larnaca and Cyprus today, it would be difficult to decide to choose it as a year-round destination. There is not a large number of services available or things to do for crew and guests close to the marinas. I believe that is the case with other marinas on Cyprus also, and that is why many are slowly starting to have complete makeovers."
The below image supplied by The Superyacht Agency outlines the current 30m+ Marina network in the region in red, with marinas that also offer 80m+ berthing highlighted in blue.
Image: The Superyacht Agency database of far eastern Mediterranean marina infrastructure.
With the demand for large superyacht berthing growing in step with the full order books across many shipyards, Alexandrou sees Larnaca filling a niche in berthing demand. "During the last few years and even during COVID, several shipyards in Europe have reported a huge increase in orders and enquiries to build new, bigger and more luxurious megayachts. In addition to this, demand for servicing and refitting of all sizes of yachts has also been soaring during the last few years."
"Almost all experienced Superyacht management companies have expressed interest to secure, well in advance, space for their clients within already established and newly built marinas which will be able to offer them much more than berthing." Concludes Alexandrou, continuing, "The size of superyachts is growing, and so are the total fleet numbers. Therefore, we aim to create a unique destination able to fulfil the high expectations and demands of existing and future superyacht owners, their families, businesses and others."
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Image renderings credit: Kition Ocean Holdings
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