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COSCO Claims Further 16% Of Piraeus Port Authority

COSCO claims further 16% of Piraeus Port Authority

Piraeus, Greece (PortSEurope) November 29, 2020 – COSCO Shipping Ports Limited has sent an official letter to the Greek government requesting a further 16% shareholding in Piraeus Port Authority SA (PPA). PPA was privatised in 2016 with COSCO taking a 51% stake. The agreement says that a further 16% would be handed to COSCO subject to the successful completion of planned and documented investments (the
masterplan). The Chinese company plans further cruise and container terminal investments, as well as a shipbuilding/repair facility. COSCO claims that the Greek authorities have consistently blocked some of these investments preventing completion, and thus, are to blame for the delays. COSCO believes it should receive the additional shareholding. Local objections mean that the required permits have not been issued and some studies, for example environmental, have not started. This has resulted in no government decree to proceed with the handover of the additional shareholding. COSCO acquired the majority of PPA shares in 2016 after an international tender, while COSCO’s subsidiary, Piraeus Container Terminal SA, has managed the port’s container terminal since 2009. Container traffic at the port reached 4.9m TEU in 2018, 18.4% higher than the previous year, and over 700% higher than when COSCO was first awarded the operation of Pier II. Since then, it has built Pier III. In 2019, traffic is estimated to rise to 5.6m TEU. With the planned completion of the western part of Pier III, capacity will reach 7.5m TEU and the new pier IV will add another 2.8m TEU. At this point, the Mediterranean port could challenge some of the large Northern European ports in terms of capacity. Earlier this month at an economic forum, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis described the COSCO investment in Piraeus port as a “win-win project which has transformed Piraeus into a successful port”. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2020.

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