Cosco Shipping’s ‘honeymoon period’ between it and the Greek state is essentially over, following the rejection by the state of much of Cosco’s investment plan for Piraeus port.
One of the final hurdles slowing Cosco-management’s plan to speed-up development of Greece’s Piraeus port into a major European gateway for Asian trade is set to be removed within the coming weeks.
The new Cosco Shipping management of Piraeus were reminded of the realities of dealing with a cash-strapped government the night of 17 October when the port of Piraeus was left without a pilot service down leaving 10 large containerships at anchor in the roads and cruise ships approaching.
The future was looking so bright for Greece’s Piraeus cluster at the beginning of July. Xu Lirong, chairman of China Cosco Shipping, having clinched a deal to takeover Greece’s largest port, pledged the Chinese company would invest some $896m in upgrading the port, with priority being given to reviving the country’s shipyard sector and upgrading cruise terminal infrastructure.
Hurdles to concluding the concession sale to Piraeus port to China’s Cosco Group are being cleared, with the final one expected to be overcome before the end of the month, when parliament is due to vote of the Euro 668.5m ($750m) deal.
Greece's Prime minister Alexis Tsipras is set to visit Beijing early July provided a number of outstanding issues are resolved including approval of the EUR368.5m ($412m) sale of the Piraeus Port Authority¹s (PPA) concession to Cosco Pacific.
The long touted privatisation of Piraeus port is at an end … almost and both Greece and China are now talking about the benefits they hope to glean from the EUR368.5m ($412m) deal between Greece’s privatisation fund and China Cosco Shipping, signed in Athens on 8 April.
The European Commission has concluded certain fiscal benefits granted by Greece to port operator Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) and its parent Cosco Pacific provided an “undue financial advantage over their competitors” and the aid must be repaid.
After a stormy session, the general meeting of Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) has approved a long-awaited agreement with Cosco Pacific, which paves the way for a Chinese investment of EUR230m ($300m) in the western flank of Greece’s biggest port.