Terminal Link SAS -a member of the consortium declared as preferential investor to buy 67 pct of Thessaloniki Port Authority and a subsidiary of French group CMA CGM- plans to restore the historic role of Thessaloniki, not only as the second largest port in Greece but as the most important port in Southeastern Europe, Boris Wenzel, CEO of Terminal Link SAS said.
Speaking to reporters, Wenzel said the two shareholders of Terminal Link (CMA CGM with 51 pct and China Merchants Port Holdings with 49 pct) signed a strategic partnership agreement two years ago to transform their subsidiary into an investment platform for port projects and supply chain in the framework of the “One Belt One Road” initiative. In this plan, the inclusion of Thessaloniki as the 13th port in the group of terminal ports operating under Terminal Link, with a cargo traffic of 11.15 million TEUs last year, is expected to enhance the group’s dynamism in the region.
Wenzel said the consortium sees two large development phases in the port of Thessaloniki: the first includes small investments for immediate improvements (upgrading equipment, services and procedures) and the second includes large investments which will allow the port to become a deep sea facility. He noted that approval of the tender results by Greek authorities were expected by the end of the year.
The consortium that won the tender includes Terminal Link SAS (33 pct), DIEP GmbH (47 pct) and Belterra Investments Ltd (Ivan Savvidis) with 20 pct.
A survey by the Foundation of Industrial and Economic Research (IOBE) released on Thursday said that the privatization of Thessaloniki port was expected to boost the country’s GDP by up to 1.6 billion euros in the next decade, while investments in the port were expected to reach 257 million euros in the same period.