Upgrade of Limassol port will allow major Cypriot shipping hub to accommodate more and larger ships

The need to accommodate a new generation of larger passenger and cargo ships is behind a major dredging project and harbour extension at the Cypriot port of Limassol, which is one of the busiest harbours in the Mediterranean Sea.

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The new port will be a major hub for both passenger and cargo ships The new port will be a major hub for both passenger and cargo ships

The two-stage project has already seen the port deepened to 16 metres in the western basin (from between 11 m and 14 m previously) and to 17 m for the port’s turning circle and entrance channel. Other work that was completed in 2009 includes the strengthening of the port’s existing quays and parts of the breakwater.

The second phase of the project, for which construction work will get underway in the spring of 2013, will involve the building of a 500-metre extension to the existing quay walls (total current length 770 m) in the port’s western basin. Construction work on the second phase is scheduled to be completed by the summer of 2015.

Increasing container capacity

In its totality, the project will substantially increase the capacity of Cyprus’s most important port. Handling capacity for containers will increase from 643 000 a year to over one million. The upgrade is expected to improve the attractiveness of the country as, for anyone arriving by ship, Limassol is often their first glimpse of Cyprus. A separate but related project has also seen the building of a new passenger terminal at the port.

A spokesperson for the project said that the upgraded port will create investment and trade opportunities not only for Cyprus but also for Europe in general. It will also improve accessibility to EU and other markets, boost the competitiveness of Cyprus’s economy and create jobs. “The upgrade ensures the long-term service for Cyprus cargo and strengthens the position of Cyprus in its immediate area,” the spokesperson said. “It will benefit businesses, investments and generally will promote the increase of economic activity.”

The new port of Lemesos, as Limassol is also known, has been in operation since 1974. It was built to largely replace the activities of the old port (now used mostly by fishing vessels) and has been Cyprus’s main port since the port at Famagusta, on the eastern side of the country, fell under Turkish control during the island’s partition.

Total and EU funding

The “Upgrading of Limassol Port” project has a total budget of EUR 25 300 000, of which the EU’s Cohesion Fund contributed EUR 21 505 000 through the Cyprus “Sustainable Development and Competitiveness” Operational Programme for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.

Draft date