Athens, Greece (PortSEurope) January 12, 2020 – Greek Shipping Minister Yiannis Plakiotakis said this week that the government would be launching tenders for the development of 10 state-owned ports within the year.
The portfolio includes 10 ports in the form of sociétés anonymes, the ports of Volos, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Elefsina, Lavrion, Corfu and Kavala. HRADF holds 100% of the shares in the aforementioned port companies which have the right to operate the respective ports until 2042.
In the last two years, the Piraeus and Thessaloniki port authorities were sold via the sale of majority stakes.
Speaking at a Association of Cruise Ship Owners and Maritime Agencies (EEKFN) event, Plakiotakis said the process would include partial concession deals or full management schemes.
“There is significant investor interest for all 10 major ports and there has already been a first presentation by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), responsible for privatising Greek state-owned assets, regarding their sustainability and conditions for use. Depending on the investment interest that we will have, we will launch international competitions in 2020,” Plakiotakis said.
The U.S. is interested in the port of Alexandroupoli for energy and military reasons, especially after the privatisation of the Thessaloniki Port Authority. The Thracian port offers access to maritime, road, rail and air transport.
It is located at a point that is now directly linked to Egnatia Odos – the highway that runs across northern Greece – and the railway line to Thessaloniki and to the borders with Turkey and Bulgaria. It is also near the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) and the route of the Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB), both of which will transport natural gas to Europe upon completion.
A railway connection was recently launched between the new container terminal at Alexandroupoli port and the national rail network, allowing for connection with Balkan states and countries on the Black Sea and providing the option of combined transport (train and ship).
Alexandroupoli is also the focus of plans to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) quantities into the Balkans through the planned construction of an offshore LNG gasification station by U.S. Greek and Bulgarian business interests.
The Eastern Mediterranean and Aegean Seas are key to U.S. interests in Southeastern Europe, the Middle East, Northern Africa and the Black Sea, and Washington faces increased regional security challenges by Russia, China and Iran.
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