Greece is revising the way it plans to develop the country's regional ports in order to pave the way for new deals in the sector as of next year.
The Shipping Ministry is working on a series of initiatives to modernize, privatize and develop ports in a way that will provide maximum benefit to the Greek economy and local communities.
Three bills that are being put together will provide the ministry with more control and reshape ties with the country's privatizations agency HRADF in policy guidelines that will soon unfold.
The starting point will be the ports that operate as companies: Alexandroupolis, Elefsina, Lavrio, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Corfu, Kavala, Volos, Patras, and Heraklion.
The direction on how they will be developed will be given by feasibility studies prepared by HRADF on each port. These studies will start to be handed into the ministry in coming days, opening the path to new investments, job positions, and state revenues. The first step in the development process is the feasibility study, followed by the setting out of financial terms and lastly comes the international tender, in order to choose an investor.
Key developments are expected as of 2020. By the end of this year, the ministry expects to assess the development potential of each port and draw up a tight timeline on how it will be done.
Top management changes have already taken place at several ports, such as in Volos and Kavala, with more expected soon ahead of the preparation of new development plans.
Greece has secured the long term usage of the ports of Alexandroupolis, Elefsina, Lavrio, Rafina, Igoumenitsa, Corfu, Kavala, Volos, Patras, and Heraklion until 2042. In northern Greece's Alexandroupolis, the privatization could become tricky after the recent defense deal signed by Greece and the US, which allows US forces to use part of the port's facilities. Greek authorities have highlighted, however, that the privatization of Alexandroupolis, along with the ports of Kavala, Igoumenitsa, and Patras, is at the top of their list.