ATHENS, July 6 (Reuters) – China COSCO Shipping will invest up to 500 million euros ($553.10 million) in its newly-acquired Piraeus port to focus on the cruise market and the shipping container business, Greek state media reported on Wednesday.
COSCO planned to plough some 200 million euros into upgrading and expanding Piraeus so it could accept bigger cruise ships, and upgrade infrastructure for handling container handling, Athens News Agency quoted China COSCO Shipping chairman Xu Lirong as saying. It would also extend shipyard facilities, he said.
Xu was speaking in Shanghai after a meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, on a state visit to China.
COSCO’s investment would be over and above the mandatory 350 million it is required to plough into Piraeus over the next decade.
Under the 368.5 million euro deal signed in April between COSCO and Greece’s privatisation agency, COSCO is to buy 51 percent of Piraeus for 280.5 million, with a further 16 percent for 88 million after a five year period.
Greece’s parliament overwhelmingly ratified the sale last week, overcoming some last minute snags which triggered complaints from the local COSCO representative that parts of the deal submitted to legislature reneged on the initial deal. ($1 = 0.9040 euros) (Reporting by Michele Kambas, editing by Louise Heavens)
(c) Copyright Thomson Reuters 2016.