Port privatizations moving ahead

Piraeus Port (OLP) and China’s Cosco Pacific have sealed the final terms of an estimated 4.3 billion-euro deal that will see Cosco operate OLP cargo facilities for up to 35 years. Greece’s conservative government sought investors to run and modernize facilities at OLP, the country’s largest port, in February, aiming to boost competitiveness and grow cargo business at its commercial docks. Reuters reported yesterday, citing an unnamed senior OLP official, that the two companies have agreed on details and financial terms including a refund paid to OLP by Cosco if the latter does not complete construction works as well as the charges OLP will have to pay for using the docks. Cosco Pacific, the world’s fifth-largest container port operator, will pay OLP a total of 4.3 billion euros based on projected revenues, in annual instalments, over the duration of the contract. On Thursday, Merchant Marine Minister Anastasios Papaligouras told a shipping conference the government is in the final stage of negotiations for the container terminal in the port of Piraeus. «We anticipate the same success for the container terminal in the port of Thessaloniki,» he added. In August, Thessaloniki Port Authority named a joint venture of Hutchison Port Holdings, HPI Sarl and Alapis Holding as the final provisional winner of a tender to run container operations at the northern harbor.