An ambitious investment project, amounting to €273 million, to create a marina with a capacity of 105 berths for mega yachts (up to 80 metres) in southern Corfu has been underway for the last few months, New Money reported.
The project, "New Marina for Large Yachts in Petritis Bay - Kalyviotis - Alykes of South Corfu", with a proposed location in the area of Kalyviotis in southern Corfu, has received the "green light" from the competent Commission for Tourist Ports of the Ministry of Tourism and the six competent ministries.
The environmental impact study that has been accepted by the Ministry of Environment, which is already in public consultation in Corfu. On Monday, a presentation of the project will take place at the Municipality of South Corfu.
As reflected in the study, it is an original and innovative project that consists in the creation of a high-quality marina in the form of a horseshoe-shaped island, located at relatively large natural bottom depths (from approximately -6 to -16 m).
The construction is connected to the beach with a specially designed bridge that will be about 300 metres from the shore, as the aim is to minimise interventions on the natural coast, maintaining the existing uses and activities in the coastal zone and the communal nature of the beach.
To serve the users and the public in the marina, it is planned to build shops, outdoor recreation and event spaces, cabins, conference and concert spaces, etc. The total area of the proposed marine zone amounts to 370 square km.
At the same time, the complete reformation of Kalyvioti beach along its entire length up to Alykes is planned, with a series of remunerative improvement interventions and projects in adjacent quays to support the local economy.
It is noted that the location of the marina does not fall within the boundaries of protected areas (Natura 2000, archaeological site, historical site or traditional settlement).
Who are behind the project?
According to sources familiar with the project, it is a "pilot project" in the sense that if successful the model will be implemented in other parts of the country.
As mentioned, the planned investment amounts to €273 million, and its financing is planned to be carried out exclusively by private funds without the participation of the State.
It is noted that the project has conditions for inclusion in the Recovery Fund of the private sector.
New Money spoke with Mr. Liatsos, head of L. Marine, who stated that although there were other candidate areas for the implementation of the pilot project, South Corfu was finally chosen by their company.
Asked about the reasons for choosing this particular point, he underlined that "the issue for us is whether this project can change the local economy for better and upgraded tourism while simultaneously offering projects that will improve the wider region.
"We did not go to an area that is known and developed for tourism, but to an area that needs to be supported in order to develop."
As stated in the study by L. Marine and the group of seven engineering companies led by the well-known port works company "Triton", during the construction of the projects, indirect positive effects on the island's economy are expected from the increase in the employment of the labour force in the construction of the project, as well as from providing services to the manufacturer's staff, trade, etc.
According to the design of the project from the construction activities it is estimated that significant employment will be created during the construction phases at the construction site and in businesses directly or indirectly related to the construction of the project, such as concrete production units, transport companies, technical services, procurement services, etc.
Thus, the construction of the project will create a significant number of jobs, some of which will be filled by the workforce and businesses in the area, which will boost employment on the island, contributing positively to the local economy of southern Corfu.
With the start of the project, 400 new permanent jobs will be created.
It is noted that Corfu and the Ionian Islands in general are a very popular destination for yacht tourism, with the number of super and mega yachts increasing rapidly.
However, the absence of appropriate infrastructure (Greece has a low density of berths per kilometre of coastline, only 0.5 berths per kilometre of coastline) deprives the local and overall domestic economy of significant income.
Mega-yachts as a market are the target of several countries and their tourist port facilities.
This particular category of yacht is aimed at high income earners and their stay in a destination is associated with significant economic benefits for the region due to the yacht's requirements for supplies and the spending of mega-yacht passengers.
It is worth mentioning that a special mooring position is provided in the marina to accommodate the well-known yacht "Christina O", 99 metres long, which belonged to Onassis and is reportedly now owned by an Irish businessman.
As Mr. Liatsos explains, the yacht carries many charters in the Ionian region and has no space to dock. In fact, he emphasises, a berth for the historic yacht "Christina O'" is planned in the marina, which automatically makes the facility a landmark, as well as a means of international promotion of southern Corfu due to its strong brand name in the mega-yacht market.
Six co-competent ministries are involved in the project at the level of licensing and approvals.
The usual procedure for investments of this size will follow, which includes the issuance of Joint Ministerial Decisions on zoning, while a Presidential Decree will also be required but for the parallel projects and not the main one concerning the marina.
Once all the licensing procedures are completed, a relevant tender will be announced for the construction of the project and in a second phase for the management of the marina infrastructure, etc.
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