Interview: Port of Thessaloniki Raises the Bar
Greek Port of Thessaloniki is going through some major changes on the back of its privatization in December 2017, when the Government of Greece sold a 67 percent share in the port.
The stake was sold for EUR 231.9 million, however, the total value of the deal was EUR 1.1 billion. The concession agreement signed between the Greek State and ThPA SA, included obligatory investments amounting to EUR 180 million to be accomplished in the next seven years.
Sotiris Theofanis, Chairman of the BoD and CEO of ThPA SA, revealed the details and progress of the investments in an interview with our sister site World Maritime News.
He said that the obligatory investment program includes the extension of the port’s container terminal by 440 meters with a depth of 16.5 meters, the procurement of new equipment for container and dry bulk terminals, and general port development, including the rehabilitation of the old customs building.
“Provided that the maturity period will be shortened, we are determined to complete the Pier 6 Extension Project, being the backbone of our investment plan, in approximately 4.5 years, effectively much earlier than our contractual obligation,” said Theofanis.
Theofanis explained that the extension of Pier 6 by 440 meters would provide berthing capacity to accommodate Neopanamax vessels with carrying capacity ranging between 10,000 and 14,000 TEUs.
“The important thing is that we will be able to serve main liner services that will come directly from East Asia to the Port of Thessaloniki,” he added.
For the time being, Theofanis said that the management team’s main priorities would be to restore the port’s level of service, procure state-of-the-art handling equipment, reorganize the company, and establish a customer-oriented business approach.
The first tenders for the procurement of modern cargo handling equipment are underway, according to Theofanis, while the efforts to improve the port’s operation have shown their first results.
For the complete interview, click here