The European Investment Bank (EIB) has formally agreed to provide EUR 140 million (USD 154.5 million) to support expansion and upgrade of the Port of Piraeus.
The 20-year loan, signed in Athens, will support the implementation of part of investments at the principal port of Greece in a total investment plan of more than EUR 600 million (USD 662 million).
The funding was described as the largest ever loan for port investment in the country by Europe’s long-term lending institution.
“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,” Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece, said.
“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 … 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,” Andrew McDowell, European Investment Bank Vice President, added.
The first EUR 100 million tranche of the EIB loan was signed on November 11 and the remainder was agreed as project construction progresses. The loan is guaranteed by the Exports – Imports Bank of China.
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.
The long-term EIB loan will complement other investments in the port currently under consideration by the European Commission and the Greek government.