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Cosco bids port of Limassol, Cyprus

Cosco bids port of Limassol, Cyprus
China’s Cosco group has made a move to gain control of Cyprus’ main port of Limassol, home one of the world’s largest third party ship management centres.

Fresh from its success in securing control of Greece’s Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) China’s largest shipping group, is now bidding to further extend its reach in the Mediterranean Sea.

Cosco’s is seeking to add Limassol to its growing stable of Greece’s Piraeus and Turkey’s prime container terminal Kumport Terminal located in the Ambarli Port Complex, on the northwest coast of the Marmara Sea.

It has emerged Cosco is among 14 investors expressing interest in placing concrete bids for three concession opportunities in Limassol. It is one of the six bidders for the port’s container terminal and one of five vying for the multipurpose terminal. Another three companies have placed bids to run a marine services concession, the Cyprus Transport, Communications and Works Ministry.

Cosco’s rivals include DP World and International Container Terminal Services Inc.

Limassol port accounts for nearly all Cyprus’ container traffic, about half of total cargo and 75% of passenger traffic, according to the tender documents.

Limassol port’s dg, Andreas Michaelides, of the Transport Ministry, says the country’s aim was to make the port of Limassol a “gateway for development for the future”.

The Cypriots hope to draw investment to a port that may well be able to offer hydrocarbon support services in the future to support a burgeoning offshore oil and gas industry in the region, considered instrumental to Cyprus’s future economic development.

During a recent visit to Cyprus China’s Foreign minister Wang Yi China is interested in operating Cypriot ports and wants to help turn the eastern Mediterranean island nation into a regional shipping hub.

Chinese investment in the region is a key part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative, which envisages creating the 21st century land and maritime equivalent of the Silk Road.