Greece is to launch tenders for the development of 10 state-owned ports in the country this year. The announcement was made by the Minister of Shipping and Island Policy, Yiannis Plakiotakis, at an Association of Cruise Ship Owners and Maritime Agencies (EEKFN) function.

According to a report by PortSEurope, the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF) holds all the shares in the port companies operating in Volos, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Alexandroupolis, Heraklion, Elefsina, Lavrion, Corfu and Kavala. The companies have the right to operate the ports until 2042.

Mr Plakiotakis said the tender process would include partial concession or full management options.

“There is significant investor interest for all 10 major ports and there has already been a first presentation by the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), responsible for privatising Greek state-owned assets, regarding their sustainability and conditions for use. Depending on the investment interest that we will have, we will launch international competitions in 2020,” said the minister.

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The US is particularly interested in the port of Alexandroupoli for energy and military reasons.

The Thracian capital is set to become a major energy hub in the region with access to maritime, rail, road and air links to the Balkan region. A container terminal was recently opened at Alexandroupoli and is linked to the national rail network and there are plans to build a natural gas facility.