Alexandroupolis, Greece (PortSEurope) February 13, 2020 – Counselor to the U.S. DFC Chief Executive Officer, Caleb McCarry, has visited the Port Authority of Alexandroupolis SA and has met with president of the port authority, Konstantinos Hadjimichael, and managing director, Konstantinos Hadjikonstantinou. McCarry was accompanied by the Consul General of the United States Embassy in Athens, Greg Pfleger, Thessaloniki, and the Embassy’s economic officer, Chip Laitinen.
The U.S. delegation was presented with details of the ports development activities. U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC) is America’s development bank and partners with the private sector to finance solutions to the most critical challenges facing the developing world today. DFC invests across sectors including energy, healthcare, critical infrastructure, and technology. The Greek government had planned to offer the privatisation (by concession) of Alexandroupolis port in early 2020, now delayed until later in the year. Alexandroupolis is located close to the Turkish and Bulgarian borders. Alexandroupolis has been topical in the news due to the recently updated Mutual Defence Cooperation Agreement (MDCA) signed in October 2019 by Greece and the USA. Washington is interested in an economic and military presence in Alexandroupolis to forward its geopolitical interests in the Eastern Mediterranean, which if successful, would limit the political plans to China and Russia to have more influence. Washington sees Alexandroupolis port as a key factor, a port which is linked to regional energy development – the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP), Gas Interconnector Greece-Bulgaria (IGB) and the Alexandroupolis LNG facility, which could become an entry point for U.S. liquified natural gas (LNG) into Europe – and the U.S. supports these projects. The port also has a potential key political role – a port the U.S. sees as an alternative to the Bosporus Straits that connect the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. Washington would like to be involved in any expansion programme at the port and develop its local influence, as well as attempting to exclude any roles for Russia and China. Washington is likely to seek local port infrastructure for some of its military forces. To achieve its aims, Washington would be keen to see U.S. companies involved in the Alexandroupolis port privatisation. Copyright (C) PortSEurope. All Rights Reserved. 2020.
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