Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, the Merchant Marine Minister of Greece, has announced a joint agreement between the Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) and COSCO Pacific (part of the Chinese COSCO Group) that will see an investment of €230m (US$300m) in the Port of Piraeus.
The money is earmarked for the upgrading of container handling equipment at the present container terminals at Pier II and East Pier III, along with the construction and expansion of Pier III by Piraeus Container Terminal, which has operated the terminal since its start in 2009. The investment will also be used to construct a new fuel pier.
The upgrade to the container facility will see the terminal’s throughput increase to a guaranteed minimum of 4,75m teu; currently, the Port of Pieraeus is ranked 43rd in CM’s World Top Container Ports 2014 review, with a throughput of 3.16m teu for 2013.
Comment at the signing of the agreement late last week, Giorgos Anomeritis, PPA president and managing director, said that the investment will make Piraeus one of the most modern and biggest freight ports in Europe.
The agreement still requires approval by the country’s auditory council and the Greek parliament, according to the minister, who sees the investment by COSCO as benefitting the country.
Cosco and the New Zealand-based Morrison Group have already expressed interest in bidding in the privatisation for the port authority.