By A. Tsimplakis
Chinese multinational Cosco and the Greek state are reportedly examining the possibility of separating a draft master plan for the Piraeus Port Authority, managed by the former, into two parts, in order to submit required environmental impact studies for mandated investments ahead of looming deadlines.
Specific timetables are foreseen in the concession contract signed by Cosco and the Greek state. The Chinese shipping and port management multinational assumed a 40-year concession for Greece's busiest and largest port in August 2016, after acquiring a majority stake in an international tender.
The Chinese side reportedly wants to maximize the port authority's performances through the foreseen investments in infrastructure and added-value projects, which will also commence the process for transferring another 16 percent of the port authority's shares to its possession - with 66 percent being the final stake.
Cosco holds 51 percent of the PPA's shares at present.
Obligatory investments, as per the concession contract, must be concluded within a five-year period.
An environmental impact study must now accompany each individual project cited in the master plan, while some of PPA's plans - such as building a shopping mall and high-rise within the port's premises, have attracted opposition by the surrounding municipality, Piraeus, and store owners.