Piraeus Port Authority SA (OLP), the state-owned company which operates Greece?s biggest port, said it?s getting Greek and European Union funds to finance a 220-million-euro expansion of cruise ship facilities.
OLP will receive 33 million euros in Greek state funds and 187 million euros from the EU?s regional development aid program to expand the port?s cruise ship pier with construction due to begin early in 2013, according to a statement on the authority?s website.
The expansion will enable Piraeus to modernize and become a hub for large cruise ships in Greece which will benefit all cruise ports in the country, Giorgos Anomeritis, OLP?s chief executive officer, said in the statement.
New-generation cruise ships are currently unable to dock at Piraeus?s central piers because of their size. The expansion will allow Piraeus, which also handles bulk cargo, containers, tankers and passenger ferries, to become the Mediterranean?s largest cruise ship port, according to the statement. OLP is 51 percent-owned by the Greek state with another 23.1 percent held indirectly via the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (TAIPED), which is responsible for state asset sales. Piraeus Port was included on the list of state asset sales scheduled for 2012.