Cosco secures bank funding of US$156.8m to expand Greek port of Piraeus
COSCO has won EUR140 million (US$156
COSCO has won EUR140 million (US$156.8 million) in funding from the European Investment Bank (EIB) and the Export-Import Bank of China, equivalent to 40 per cent of the funds it requires to upgrade facilities at the Greek port of Piraeus, including the development of a fourth container terminal.
Chinese lenders such as Bank of China and the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China (ICBC), both of which recently established a presence in Athens, are also likely to award financing at a later stage, reported Seatrade Maritime News, Colchester, UK.
The funding comes as the Chinese shipping giant is about to enter into talks with the Greek government on the terms and conditions that will allow for Cosco's investment master plan for Piraeus port to be expanded to $1 billion from the currently approved $672 million.
Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Chinese President Xi Jinping at meetings in Shanghai earlier this month showed that both nations aim to turn Piraeus into one of the biggest ports in southern Europe.
The Chinese president revealed in Athens recently 11 that all licensed projects in the Cosco master plan will be launched immediately, starting with the extension of the cruise terminal and the construction of the new passenger terminal whose concession process and funding scheme have already been completed.
The Greek government and Cosco are actively working to eliminate any reservations and objections locally to the Cosco master plan for Piraeus to ensure the planned $336 million fourth container terminal garners widespread approval.
The terminal is set to raise the capacity of Piraeus port from the present seven million TEU to 10 million TEU. This year the four Cosco-managed terminals are forecast to handle 5.6 million TEU.