Chinese shipper to invest €230 million to enhance capacity of Greece’s largest port to 6.2 million TEU
COSCO Holdings Company Ltd. has agreed a multi-million euro expansion of its container business at the Greek Port of Piraeus (OLP).
The agreement, announced by the Greek government on Monday, will see China’s largest bulk shipper exempt from paying fees to the OLP in return for investing in the port to allay fears over its continued growth whilst paving the way for the port’s privatisation.
COSCO, who took over managerial responsibilities at the port in 2008, will spend a total of €230 million to increase the cargo handling capacity of Greece’s largest port by as much as two thirds to 6.2 million TEU over the next seven years.
“This agreement is as valuable as the initial one which brought the Chinese company to Greece,” shipping minister Miltiades Varvitsiotis told Greek newspaper Naftemporiki.
The agreement is subject to approval of the respective boards of both the OLP and COSCO.
In a bid to raise more funds to pay off the country’s spiralling debts, Greece launched the second round of its €50 billion privatisation program in October 2012 – the largest since World War II. As part of the proposals the Port of Piraeus and the nation’s second largest port in Thessaloniki were put up for grabs along with a number of other regional ports.