The friendly settlement between the Port of Piraeus Authority (OLP) and COSCO subsidiary SEP regarding the upgrade of the port’s western pier, worth 230 million euros, has been put on hold. The matter will be discussed at an OLP shareholder assembly in December. The state privatization fund TAIPED is expected to participate in the discussions.
According to OLP officers and employee representatives, the main objections of COSCO/SEP are over the Court of Auditor’s interventions regarding minimum guaranteed returns. The Chinese side wants the minimum guaranteed returns to be associated with GDP, which was significantly different in 2009, when COSCO took over the port.
The Court of Auditors however has requested that the minimum guaranteed returns be suspended up to 2021, when the upgrade of the western part of Pier 3 is complete. Furthermore, SEP is called upon to pay rent for the western part of Pier 3 after it is complete. The representative of port worker federation OMYLE claims that SEP is not currently paying rent for the eastern part of Pier 3, despite having completed work there and notes that the company is demanded to construct the western part of the pier under the same settlement deal.
According to the deal signed between OLP and COSCO, the Chinese company will have to pay OLP 24.5% of the turnover generated from shipping carried out from Piers 2 and 3. The Minister of Shipping Miltiadis Varvitsiotis has been informed of these developments by OLP president Giorgos Anomeritis.