The European Investment Bank (EIB) on Monday formally agreed to provide 140 million euros to support expansion and upgrading of the Port of Piraeus, the principal port of Greece. The largest ever loan for port investment in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution, will support the implementation of part of investments at the Port of Piraeus in a total investment plan of more than 600 million euros.
The 20-year loan was signed in Athens in the presence of Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Xu Lirong, Chairman of COSCO Shipping Corporation, by Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President, the Chairman of Piraeus Port Authority S.A. Yu Zenggang and Athanasios Liagkos, Board Member of the Piraeus Port Authority S.A.
“Greece welcomes the European Investment Bank’s support for transformation at the Port of Piraeus. The EIB has been supporting strategic infrastructure across Greece for more than 50 years and has unique technical and financial expertise financing leading ports across Europe and worldwide.” said Prime Minister of Greece Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
“Redevelopment of the Port of Piraeus will strengthen connections between Greece and the rest of the world and ensure that Greece benefits from a world-class maritime logistics hub. The European Investment Bank is pleased to provide a 20-year long-term loan for the principal maritime hub of Greece and the leading port in the Mediterranean. EIB support reflects the economic benefits to be unlocked in the coming years and the importance of ensuring competitive transport links for Greece and South Eastern Europe.” Said Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President.
“Recent investment has shown how investment at the Port of Piraeus can support economic growth and benefit Greece. Confirmation of the European Investment Bank’s support follows detailed due diligence and reflects the broad benefits to be unlocked by the largest investment programme in the history of the Port of Piraeus.” said Yu Zenggang, Chairman of Piraeus Port Authority SA.
The first 100 million euros tranche of the EIB loan was signed today and the remainder agreed as project construction progresses.
The EIB loan is guaranteed by the Export-Import Bank of China, and the guarantee facility contract between PPA and CEXIM was also signed today in the presence of CEXIM Chairwoman Ms HU Xiaolian and Mr Athanasios Liagkos from PPA.
New investment at the Port of Piraeus includes development of a new port logistics centre, construction of a new cruise passenger handling facility, expansion of car shipping facilities, an improved ship repair area and the upgrade of the container terminal.
The long-term EIB loan will complement other investments in the Port currently under consideration by the European Commission and the Greek government plus Technical Assistance work undertaken by JASPERS.
Improvements to the Port of Piraeus are expected to support economic growth and job creation across the country, reduce transport costs and enable increased cruise tourism and shipping.
The Port of Piraeus is the busiest in the Mediterranean and the world’s 32nd largest port in terms of container cargo traffic.
Piraeus Port Authority said its financial added value accounted for 0.4 pct of the country’s GDP in 2018, it contributed 18.3 million in taxes and 14.3 million in social insurance contributions. It supported 1,272 local and national suppliers with a total supply spending of around 49 million euros, it spent 426,000 in corporate responsibility actions, it supported 1,016 direct job positions, 1,903 indirect jobs and 1,190 related job positions. It spent more than 4.2 million euros on workers’ healty and safety, another 1.8 million on services to protecting the environment and reducing CO2 emissions.