Worldwide there are approximately 3,000 merchant ports and the work of the Harbour Master can vary widely from country to country and from port to port even within the same country.
Prime Minister welcomes largest ever EIB port investment in Greece
Expanding principal port in Greece will create jobs and support growth nationwide
Scheme to expand and upgrade cruise, container and car terminal, develop new port logistics centre and improve infrastructure and equipment of the ship repair zone
In mid-November the European Investment Bank (EIB) formally agreed to provide €140 million 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.
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 SA Yu Zenggang and Athanasios Liagkos, Board Member of the Piraeus Port Authority SA
Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said: ‘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.’
Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President added: ‘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.’
In the words of Yu Zenggang, Chairman of Piraeus Port Authority SA: ‘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.’
The first €100 million tranche of the EIB loan was signed on 11 November 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 the same day in the presence of CEXIM Chairwoman Ms HU Xiaolian and Mr Athanasios Liagkos from PPA.
Improving communications for millions of people across Europe
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.
EIB loan complements Greek and European funds
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*.
Port of Piraeus investment to support jobs and growth across Greece
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.
This article is based on material kindly provided by the EIB
and the Port of Piraeus.
*Joint Assistance to Support Projects in European Regions: www.jaspers-europa-info.org/
Seafarers UK is a charity that has been helping those in the maritime community for over 100 years, by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.
This aid has been achieved by grants to organisations and projects across the Merchant Navy, the Fishing Fleets, the Royal Navy and Royal Marines.
In 2019 Seafarers UK awarded 53 grants totalling £2.2m to 43 maritime welfare charities.
On 3 April Seafarers UK made an open appeal on the world wide web to draw attention to the unprecedented times when the effects of COVID-19 are being felt all over the world with the seafaring community being no exception.
As an island nation, the UK is particularly dependent on its seafarers to keep the UK supplied with food, medicine, fuel and other essential supplies. As such, the Government has acknowledged the importance of those who work in the supply chain during the COVID-19 pandemic and has officially designated seafarers as key workers.
As the world fights the Coronavirus pandemic seafarers are silently playing a vital role in keeping the nation afloat, under extremely challenging and unpredictable conditions.
On 2 April cruise ships Zaandam and Rotterdam disembarked more than 1,200 passengers in Port Everglades, Florida. These developments, combined with one remaining disembarkation being coordinated, represents the processing of more than 120 vessels in the last three weeks to remove 250,000 passengers from cruise ships due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This was reported by USCG HQ Media service from Washington.
US Coast Guard, under guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and working with Department of Homeland Security partners Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), as well as state and local entities from multiple port jurisdictions, facilitated the safe landing, screening, quarantine and repatriation of these passengers in a manner that has prevented further spread of the COVID-19 virus. Many passengers were brought to safe harbour in the United States when international ports refused entry.