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International investors are anchoring in Greek regional ports

With the investment interest constantly increasing and being enriched with strong contenders, the new year is expected with special interest for the next tenders of the country’s ports, which with the update of the national port policy that will be immediately put to consultation, gain significant impetus and added value.

The “present” in the competitions is expected to give important groups from the USA , Italy , China , Japan , Israel but also from Turkey  and  Azerbaijan. 

The curtain for the new tenders for the sale or concession of regional ports is expected to open with the ports of Heraklion , Volos  and  Corfu , while Patras , Elefsina , Lavrio and Rafina   will follow.

The strong investment interest became clear, as Evangelos Kyriazopoulos , Secretary General of the Ministry of Shipping emphasizes in Liberal Markets, about two months ago, when the first phase of the HRDH tender process for the investment development of two of the most important port organizations in our country was completed. , of Alexandroupolis and Igoumenitsa, as well as for the sub-concession of the right to use part of the commercial port of Kavala “Filippos B”. A similar interest, he states, is already manifested for the other seven ports, with the relevant development procedures being activated immediately, next year.

“The results announced were more than encouraging. “Against the backdrop of the times and the gloomy reality of the global economy as a result of the ongoing health crisis, large multinational investment groups of international prestige, perceiving the present period as an opportunity, are confronted on equal terms, claiming a share in our vision for ports .” Kyriazopoulos. 

He continues by emphasizing that,  “With their participation they signal to the international community that the particularly positive results from the concession agreements for Piraeus and Thessaloniki continue, enabling Greece through its ports within the next decade to be able to play a key role in the transit trade of south-eastern Europe “.

It is clear that these investments highlight the country’s regional ports as ‘development vehicles’, catalytically affecting local economies at the regional level, creating the right conditions for the revitalization of shipbuilding and cruising, the development of shipping clusters, direct and indirect jobs.

The main contenders  

In particular, in the race of the contenders, the position of the Grimaldi group is given for the Port of Heraklion and possibly of Patras, while the surprise comes from Corfu, where Turks also appear in the contenders . 

At the same time, the side of OLTH has given the position that it will be present in most tenders, while PFIC LTD, Quintana Infrastructure + Development, Union of Companies Imerys SA, Goldair Cargo & IMG, International Port Investments Kavala Consortium have already participated in the previous tenders. and ΟΛΘ Α.Ε.

For 67% of OLIG, nine bands have expressed interest, namely: 

1) Attica Holdings 

2) Danthia Shipping Company Limited, 

3) MARG LTD, 

4) Portek International, 

5) Quintana Infrastructure & Development, 

6) Aegean Oil, 7) Archirodon -ANEK- Trident Hellas Consortium, 

8) Grimaldi Euromed Consortium – Minoan Lines, 

9) ΟΛΘ.

It is estimated that the port of Patras will be strongly interested if the railway connection proceeds, which will bring the Chinese of Piraeus either independently or through an operator to the main contenders as it will be able to directly connect the two ports and open another exit post to the West. Europe but also to decongest the first port of the country.

The outsider of the procedures seems to be Elefsina as for the port there is already interest from many groups and not only port authorities but also from Industry and Shipbuilding. 

Regarding Volos, American interest has been expressed as in Alexandroupolis and Kavala , while it attracts other investors, such as the Goldair scheme, as it is an export hub for central Greece but also a point of import of raw materials for local industries. 

Port policy and benefits 

An important factor for the successful outcome of the procedures but also the attraction of significant investments is, as the Secretary General emphasizes. Of the Ministry of Shipping Evangelos Kyriazopoulos, “The update of the national port policy that we have just completed and will soon be put to consultation, comes to give credibility and the necessary guarantees to the overall development effort of the combined transport sector and to highlight the must take place in critical and interconnected areas of the national transport system “.

Analyzing the update, he notes that, “Through twelve objectives and over sixty individual actions, the strategy sets the stage and substantiates the policy mix to be followed.”

In particular: Demonstrates and justifies the need to adopt a new modern port governance system.

It provides strategic directions for port development in line with European transport policy priorities and proposes ways to support a competitive and efficient market for maritime transport services. 

Stresses the importance of integrating ports into the national logistics network, the necessary ‘green’ and digital port investments to adapt to national and European environmental targets for 2030 and 2050.

At the same time, it connects the shipbuilding and repair industry with the prospects of the national port industry. 

Redefines maritime tourism, cruising and yachting, depending on the needs and character of each region of our country. 

Incorporates the port dimension in the formulation of the national strategy for maritime spatial planning.

It re-approaches the city-port relationship and finally highlights critical issues for national security and civil protection in ports, with a view to addressing them.

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