Reports that the Piraeus Port Authority’s (OLP) Cosco-led management will transport a massive 300,000-ton floating dock to the port, Greece’s busiest and largest, has dampened prospects for the country’s two main shipyards, Skaramangas and Elefsina, which lie west of Piraeus proper but within the greater Athens-Piraeus industrial district, according to Naftemporiki newspaper.
While repairs to smaller vessels were usually handled by crews onboard at the port of Piraeus, larger vessels usually used the dry docks at Elefsina and Skaramangas, with the move by Cosco now inserting a third competitor to the already crisis-stricken sector in Greece.
Other factors that appear threatening for the two major shipbuilding/ship repair yards is the fact that Cosco, which will purchase a stake of up to 67 percent of OLP and holds its management, already operates a large fleet of ocean-going vessels. As such, it has promised to use Piraeus as a hub for its maintenance and repair needs in the Mediterranean.
Additionally, the Chinese multinational has enjoyed a long partnership with Greek shipowners and companies, as both a cargo shipper, multinational shipping agent and as a state-run company of a country where numerous Greek-owned vessels have been built over the last decade and a half.
[Naftemporiki / By A. Tsiblakis]