Piraeus Port Authority SA, the state-owned company which operates Greece’s biggest port, said it’s getting Greek and European Union funds to finance a 220 million-euro ($268 million) expansion of cruise-ship facilities.
Piraeus will receive 33 million euros in Greek state funds and 187 million euros from the EU’s regional development aid program to expand the port’s cruise-ship pier with construction due to begin early in 2013, according to a statement today on the authority’s website.
The expansion will enable Piraeus to modernize and become a hub for large cruise ships in Greece which will benefit all cruise ports in the country, Chief Executive Officer Yiorgos Anomeritis said in the statement.
New generation cruise ships are currently unable to dock at Piraeus’s central piers because of their size. The expansion will allow Piraeus, which also handles bulk cargo, containers, tankers and passenger ferries, to become the Mediterranean’s largest cruise-ship port, according to the statement.
Piraeus Port Authority is 51 percent owned by the Greek state with another 23.1 percent held indirectly via the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund which is responsible for state asset sales.
Piraeus Port was included on the list of state asset sales scheduled for 2012. A Greek Finance Ministry official yesterday said the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund will only be able to complete two sales this year neither of which is a traded company.