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Aggressive Balkan Expansion Of Thessaloniki Port Starts With An Intermodal Dry Port In Sofia

Aggressive Balkan expansion of Thessaloniki Port starts with an intermodal dry port in Sofia

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Thessaloniki, Greece (PortSEurope) November 13, 2020 – Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA) has started a hinterland expansion with its first intermodal terminal (dry port) in the capital of neighbouring Bulgaria (in Iliyantsi/Ilianci, Sofia).

The dry port, to controlled by the subsidiary ThPA Sofia, is part of the port’s strategy to become a gateway to the Balkan region. It is located 230 km north of the port and will be linked by train directly to the Port of Thessaloniki, providing competitive transit times and costs.

The new dry port aims to become an important trade hub and a modern development centre, which will be linked by train with a range of dry ports in South-Eastern, Eastern and Central Europe, playing a decisive role in strengthening the export activities of a wide range of businesses, according to a Port of Thessaloniki statement.

The Executive Chairman of the board of directors of ThPA Athanasios Liagkos, said: “ThPA S.A. continues to implement its strategy consistently and at a rapid pace. The dry port in Sofia is indeed a particularly important historical as well as development milestone for the Port of Thessaloniki. It is the first dry port from a series of similar ones that we will create in the wider Balkan region.

Our goal is none other than the development and offering of reliable, modern and competitive intermodal services to our customers and the important contribution of our company in shaping the conditions for the growth of our country”.

In the first half of 2020, the total revenues of ThPA were €34.29 million compared to €32.95 million, an increase of 5.3%. The increase is due to additional revenues from the container terminal of €2.9 million (14.3%) and the reduction of revenues from the conventional cargo terminal by €1.2 million (-10.3%). Total operating cost increased by 12.3% due to compensation paid to executives who resigned in accordance with the decisions of the Ordinary General Meeting in June.

Thessaloniki Port Authority (ThPA) was privatised in March 2018, and is now operated by South Europe Gateway Thessaloniki (SEGT) Ltd, a consortium, in turn, owned by Germany’s Deutsche Invest Equity Partners (DIEP) with 47%; France’s CMA CGM (Terminal Link) with 33% and Savvidis Group (Cyprus-registered Belterra Investments) with 20%. Terminal Link is 49% owned by China Merchants Port Holding, which is controlled by the Chinese state.

For more information about the controversial Russian and Chinese involvement in the Port of Thessaloniki, read our analysis – Thessaloniki port seeks exit from Piraeus shadow; Chinese and Russian interests.

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