Cosco raises in­vest­ment tar­get

Hong Kong-listed com­pany tells Tsipras it will spend 600 mil­lion euros on ex­pand­ing the port of Pi­raeus

Kathimerini English - - Front Page - BY ILIAS BELLOS

Ship­ping giant Cosco in­tends to im­ple­ment to­tal in­vest­ments of 600 mil­lion euros at the port of Pi­raeus, its chair­man, Xu Lirong, in­formed Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras on the last day of the lat­ter’s visit to China.

Of­fi­cials of the Chi­nese cor­po­ra­tion ex­plained to Kathimerini that the Hong Kong-listed com­pany’s plan aims not only to make Pi­raeus the big­gest com­mer­cial port in the Mediter­ranean and one of Europe’s most im­por­tant, but also the big­gest ship re­pair point in the eastern Mediter­ranean and one of the most im­por­tant cruise tourism junc­tions in the world.

The em­pha­sis of those in­vest­ments will be across all Pi­raeus Port Au­thor­ity (OLP) ac­tiv­i­ties, but es­pe­cially ship re­pair ac­tiv­ity and cruise tourism, be­yond the con- trac­tual obli­ga­tions the com­pany has un­der­taken.

Those in­vest­ments of 600 mil­lion euros in­clude the 350 mil­lion Cosco com­mit­ted to in­vest upon bid­ding for the 67 per­cent stake in OLP, plus an­other 250 mil­lion. How­ever, this does not in­clude the 230 mil­lion euros Cosco’s lo­cal sub­sidiary, Pi­raeus Con­tainer Ter­mi­nal, is about to fin­ish pay­ing out for the com­ple­tion of the orig­i­nal agree­ment for its en­try into Greece.

The bulk of the new projects, worth some 500 mil­lion euros, are ex­pected to be im­ple­mented within the next five years.

Xu ex­plained to the Greek pre­mier at their meet­ing yes­ter­day that Cosco will con­struct not just the first stage of the cruise port ex­pan­sion, but also the sec­ond, cre­at­ing six new berths for ma­jor cruise lin­ers. It will also pro­ceed to the cre­ation of float­ing dock equip­ment to serve most of the big­gest ships in the world. 1.1069

The Chi­nese plan fo­cuses on serv­ing the big con­tainer ships (moth­er­ships) that link Asia with Europe, and is based on the high­level know-how of Greek com­pa­nies in the sec­tor.

Tsipras also raised the is­sue of ship­build­ing in Greece, but Xu re­sponded that it is the ship re­pair de­vel­op­ment that must be achieved first, and for a cli­mate of con­fi­dence to be con­sol­i­dated be­fore the two sides pro­ceed to such a step.

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