High US interest in Volos port bids

High US interest in Volos port bids

The United States’ International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), a state development bank, has offered the Goldair Group, one of the four bidders for a controlling stake – a minimum of 67% – in the port of Volos, to partly finance upgrades in the port’s infrastructure.

Goldair Handling and Goldair Cargo are Greek companies specializing in airport and rail services. Kathimerini understands that DFC has sent a letter to the Goldair Group detailing its offer and that talks about financing are at an advanced stage.

DFC, whose establishment was approved by legislation passed in 2018 and which was finally set up in December 2019, aims to be the equivalent of China Investment Corporation, the state investment fund that manages assets exceeding €1 trillion.

The founding of DFC itself was in the context of the intensifying US-Chinese rivalry.

Recently, the US Congress approved DFC’s proposal to loan Greece’s ONEX Neorion Shipyards $115 million to upgrade Elefsis Shipyards.

With Greece’s two biggest ports, Piraeus and Thessaloniki, under the control of a Chinese state company and a Greek-Russian oligarch, respectively, the stakes in the bidding for Volos are high.

Volos port, midway between Piraeus and Thessaloniki, may not be as big as the other two and not as close to the Balkans and Central Europe as Thessaoloniki, but it has more than adequate rail and road infrastructure, which will only improve. More importantly, for DFC and the US, which considers the port as a potential second gateway for moving NATO personnel and equipment to Eastern Europe, alongside Alexandroupoli, one of the other bidders is the Port of Thessaloniki.

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