Cosco to bring huge float­ing docks to Pi­raeus ship re­pair zone

Kathimerini English - - Focus - BY ILIAS BELLOS

The first of two siz­able float­ing docks Cosco has or­dered for the ship re­pair zone of Pi­raeus Port Author­ity (OLP) is all ready for transportation to Greece’s big­gest port.

De­pend­ing on the avail­abil­ity of a ship able to trans­port the 80,000-ton post-pana­max dock, it is ex­pected to ar­rive in late spring or early sum­mer, ac­cord­ing to sources from the Chi­nese group.

How­ever, the in­stal­la­tion will only be able to take place af­ter the li­cens­ing process has been com­pleted, some­thing that the Greek state is re­spon­si­ble for, the same sources ex­plained. Af­ter that first de­liv­ery, a 300,000-ton cape­size float­ing dock is ex­pected to follow, and Cosco is likely keep­ing its fin­gers crossed that no un­ex­pected de­lays crop up so they can have the in­stal­la­tions up and run­ning as soon as pos­si­ble.

The Ship­ping and Econ­omy min­istries are seek­ing the fastest pos­si­ble in­stal­la­tion of this equip­ment in Pi­raeus that Cosco has com­mit­ted it­self to ac­quir­ing and op­er­at­ing in the Greek port. The ob­vi­ous goal is the strength­en­ing of eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity in the sec­tor and em­ploy­ment in Pi­raeus. Sources from the new OLP ad­min- is­tra­tion told Kathimerini that it has al­ready re­paired the two smaller stone docks Pi­raeus has and is pre­par­ing to re­pair two small float­ing docks.

Nev­er­the­less sources from the port in­dus­try warn that there may be prob­lems with the lo­ca­tion of the new in­stal­la­tions. Lo­cal au­thor­i­ties and other com­mu­nity groups in ar­eas in or ad­ja­cent to the ship re­pair zone have raised ob­jec­tions and are pre­par­ing to fight the ar­rival of the docks, cit­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal or ar­chae­o­log­i­cal rea­sons.

A key chal­lenge for OLP is just how much ad­di­tional busi­ness the new ship re­pair in­fra­struc­ture will be able to bring in. Dozens of Greek com­pa­nies in the sec­tor have leased space in the OLP ship re­pair zone, so they – along with most other Pi­raeus-based com­pa­nies and their Greek work­ers – are clearly ex­pect­ing to se­cure some busi­ness from the ships that will soon start dock­ing in the new in­stal­la­tions. Cru­cially, the au­thor­i­ties will need to en­sure con­sis­tency in the promised de­liv­ery times: “Given the ad­mit­tedly high qual­ity of know-how Greece still has, it still needs to prove that it can stick to a timetable,” an OLP ad­min­is­tra­tion source said.

The ship re­pair zone in Pi­raeus is ex­pect­ing a rise in busi­ness with the ar­rival of the two huge float­ing docks Cosco has or­dered.

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