BUSINESS

No real progress on Cosco’s master plan for Piraeus Port

ILIAS BELLOS

TAGS: Business, Privatizations, Politics

The approval process for Cosco’s investments in Piraeus has been passed on to the next government, as the Port Planning and Development Commission (ESAL) has conditionally accepted but not approved the master plan for Piraeus Port Authority (OLP).

On Monday ESAL also stopped short of accepting the investment in shipbuilding activity or the shopping center, which would be open to the wider public (not just passengers at the port), and all investments in the plan for which it considers the Culture Ministry the competent authority for specific approvals.

It therefore became clear that no solutions have been reached, against the positive disposition of several ministry representatives toward ESAL approving the master plan, and the meeting was practically fruitless, despite the Shipping Ministry’s effort to put on a brave face.

Cosco’s master plan for OLP provides for total investments of 612 million euros, of which 293.7 million concerns contractual obligations of the Chinese group that should be completed by 2021 for the remaining 16 percent of OLP shares to be transferred to Cosco, after the original 51 percent passed on in 2016.

The Chinese owners have added another 318 million euros of investments to the master plan and stress that this is an integrated project that cannot be fragmented and has been drafted in cooperation with McKinsey consultants.

Sources said that the representative of the Infrastructure Ministry withdrew objections regarding a new logistics center on a 90,000-square meter plot west of Piraeus that has been included in the OLP concession zone and will be merged with the main area of the port at the car terminal. ESAL has also accepted the operation of the existing shipyards at Kynosoura on Salamina up to the expiry of the contract with OLP in 2052.

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