Cosco, a leading Chinese state-owned shipping and shipbuilding group, has presented a €500m master plan for the development of Piraeus port in Greece into a leading international trade gateway.
The move follows Cosco acquiring a 70% stake in Piraeus port last year, with the Greek government holding the remaining 30%. The plan to upgrade the facilities at Piraeus is one of many projects in the marine Silk Road and Belt initiative undertaken by China. Cosco is now managing the Piraeus Port Authority.
A key facet of the master plan is the development of a new shipyard which is described as being the largest in the Eastern Mediterranean. The facility is said will be able to handle 450 vessels a year, with the priorities being for superyachts and cruise ships.
At this stage, no further information is available about the shipyard but on the basis that some of the world’s largest cruise ships are calling at Piraeus, it is very likely that the new yard will be able to accommodate the largest superyachts afloat.
Piraeus is served by at least seven marinas, of which three have berths for superyachts over 100m (328ft). These are the 670-berth Zea Marina, which is able to accommodate yachts up to 150m (493ft); the 130-berth Athens marina with berths up to 130m (427ft); and Flisvos Marina, which has 303 berths up to 180m (591ft).