A master plan recently unveiled by the Cosco-managed Piraeus Port Authority (PPA), the largest and busiest port facility in Greece, outlines four main axes of development over the coming years. The master plan was presented as part of a mandatory review process by surrounding municipalities and social partners in the wider Piraeus area.
As previously noted, one oft-repeated goal is to turn the port of Piraeus into a major home port for cruise ships, with the target being 580,000 passengers - of whom 100,000 will be Chinese holiday-makers - using the port as a starting point every year.
Cosco's master plan cites new hotels and commercial activities (mall) within the PPA premises, among others.
At the same time, the Chinese multinational has, from the very moment it assumed the port authority's control, conveyed its intent to transform Piraeus into the biggest ship-repair and ship-building hub in the east Mediterranean. A new floating dock able to handle to 350 to 400 vessels per year is already on line, in tandem with a strategy aimed to offer competitive prices and faster repair times.
Another axis of development for the PPA's growth is to expand the current container port by linking it with a rail line to logistics hubs in the greater west Athens area, attracting more ro-ro customers and more modern warehouse space. All of the above aim to further upgrade Piraeus as the southern "gate" for Sino-EU trade.
Finally, the fourth axis for future growth, as included in the master plan, is to continue to upgrade port facilities (parking space, port deepening, more shops within port premises) for ferry boat passengers travelling to and from the numerous Aegean islands.