Snags de­lay launch of new Pa­tra port

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ILIAS KANISTRAS

In a first for Greece, a mas­sive pro­ject is un­der way in the Pelo­pon­nese to move the port of Pa­tra from its cur­rent, his­tor­i­cal lo­ca­tion north of the city to a new lo­ca­tion in the south­ern part, on a part of the coast that once hosted in­dus­tries such as tex­tile pro­ducer Peiraiki-Pa­traiki and the Ladopou­los pa­per fac­tory.

The Pa­tra Port Au­thor­ity (OLPA) has con­firmed that the move is ex­pected to take place soon, though it has been un­able to set an ex­act date as it is rec­ti­fy­ing a se­ries of small tech­ni­cal prob­lems that came up dur­ing the new port’s dry run.

There are those who ob­ject to the port be­ing opened too soon, such as Costas Vris, the head of the ship­bro­kers as­so­ci­a­tion, who ar­gues that the move should ei­ther have been made last Fe­bru­ary or should be pushed back to Septem­ber to avoid headaches for trav­el­ers dur­ing the tourist sea­son. He also told Kathimerini that ac­cess to the new port is also prob­lem­atic as the road net- work in and around the site has not yet been adapted to suit ferry traf­fic, and es­pe­cially slow ve­hi­cles such as trucks.

OLPA coun­ters that the pro­ject has been ten­dered and com­mis­sioned and that stud­ies have been car­ried out con­firm­ing that the ex­ist­ing road net­work can serve for the time be­ing.

Mean­while, Vris adds that the new port only has four dock­ing bays, which means that many ships will be forced to dock at the old port if they need to spend the day or the night at Pa­tra. OLPA has said that most of the old port will con­tinue to op­er­ate, at least un­til a pend­ing pe­ti­tion by the Mu­nic­i­pal­ity of Pa­tra to the Fi­nance Min­istry to cede a part of the coastal front to it is de­cided.

The ship­bro­ker head also ar­gues against the port’s move by say­ing that the lo­ca­tion is fur­ther away from the cen­ter of Pa­tra than the old port, which may de­ter tourists from stop­ping at the city overnight dur­ing their trip to or from Greece.

Work on designing the new port be­gan in the early 1990s and con­struc­tion took from 1997 to 2010 to com­plete. The to­tal cost is over 60 mil­lion eu­ros.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Greece

© PressReader. All rights reserved.