COSCO Ship­ping in­vests in Pi­raeus

China Daily (Canada) - - LIFE - By ZHONG­NAN

China COSCO Ship­ping Co, the coun­try’s largest ship­ping com­pany by fleet size, on Wed­nes­day an­nounced it will in­vest an­other 500 mil­lion eu­ros ($553 mil­lion) in Greece’s Pi­raeus Port af­ter of­fi­cially be­com­ing the port’s ma­jor­ity share­holder ear­lier this week.

Un­der the plan, COSCO Ship­ping will build a port to berth cruise lin­ers and a large-scale pas­sen­ger trans­port cen­ter that could con­tain up to 10,000 peo­ple, to di­ver­sify the port’s busi­ness ser­vices.

It will be­come one of the world’s largest cruise home­ports by both pas­sen­ger ca­pac­ity and ser­vice in­fra­struc­ture.

The Chi­nese com­pany will also in­vest to build new­ports for con­tainer ships and ve­hi­cle ro-ro car­ri­ers in Pi­raeus Port.

Ship­build­ing and ship main­te­nance fa­cil­i­ties will also be con­structed soon.

Xu Lirong, chair­man of COSCO Ship­ping, said the investment will cre­ate up to 31,000 jobs in Greece and raise the coun­try’s out­put value from the lo­gis­tics in­dus­try from 400 mil­lion eu­ros to 2.5 bil­lion eu­ros over the long-term run.

“Other fa­cil­i­ties such as new docks to build ships and off­shore en­gi­neer­ing prod­ucts, as well as new park­ing ar­eas, will help Greece im­prove its man­u­fac­tur­ing abil­ity and build Pi­raeus Port as a ma­jor ve­hi­cle trans­fer ter­mi­nal in the Mediter­ranean re­gion,” Xu said when Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras vis­ited the group’s head­quar­ters in Shang­hai.

Pi­raeus Port is al­ready a strate­gic part­ner with multi­na­tional gi­ants such as US elec­tron­ics com­pany Hewlet­tCo and Chi­nese net­work equip­ment man­u­fac­turer Huawei Tech­nolo­gies Co for the mar­itime dis­tri­bu­tion of their prod­ucts to Europe, north­ern African coun­tries and the Mid­dle East.

Tsipras said run­ning such a big port in Greece can fur­ther en­sure COSCO Ship­ping’s sail­ing sched­ules, cut ship­ping costs and ex­pand busi­ness net­works of the com­pany’s port busi­ness in south­ern Europe, as well as pro­mot­ing trade be­tween China and Euro­pean na­tions.

Ea­ger to gain more mar­ket share, COSCO Ship­ping has set a goal to en­large the port’s han­dling ca­pac­ity from 3.36 mil­lion 20-foot equiv­a­lent con­tainer units in 2015 to 10 mil­lion TEUs a year in the fu­ture.

The Chi­nese ship­ping gi­ant so far has in­vested 350 mil­lion eu­ros in Pi­raeus Port.

Chen Ying­ming, ex­ec­u­tive vice-pres­i­dent of Shang­haibased China Ports and Har­bors As­so­ci­a­tion, said the Mediter­ranean is a key Euro­pean en­try point for Chi­nese prod­ucts such as cloth­ing, machines, house­hold ap­pli­ances, ve­hi­cle parts and in­dus­trial yarn, as well as au­to­mo­biles from Ja­pan and South Korea.

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