By Ebenezer William
Grimaldi Group, which consistists of Grimaldi Euromed and Minoan Lines Shipping (which together represent 90% of the consortium) and the Greek Operator Investment have been selected to take over operation of the Iguomenesa Port in Greece.
The financial offer amounts to € 84.17 million as announced by the Board of Directors of the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund – the fund in charge of managing the privatisation programme of ports and other public assets in Greece, at its meeting last week.
The concession relating to the Port of Igoumenitsa (owned by the Igoumenitsa Port Authority) includes the right to exclusively use and manage the assets of the port area of Igoumenitsa, the fishing shelters of Sagiada and Plataria and the yacht shelter of Syvota. Igoumenitsa is the main port of Epirus and one of the largest commercial ports in Greece, strategic for connections between mainland Greece and the rest of Europe.
Speaking on the acquisition, Group Managing Director, Grimaldi Group, Emanuele Grimaldi said “We are ready to invest in the growth of the port of Igoumenitsa, and at the same time in the development of trade routes around the ancient Via Egnazia, of which the Greek port is the main gate.
“Our Group has long been the main customer of the port, and in this sense the acquisition of the majority of its share capital is part of a broader strategy of vertical integration. In addition, through our investments in the port we aim to facilitate the development of the local economy: improving the services of the port of Igoumenitsa means making the tourist product of the area even more attractive, stimulating the traffic of passengers and goods as well as the emergence of new business activities related to maritime tourism; more generally, it means generating more job opportunities.”
With the Grimaldi Lines and Minoan Lines brands, the Grimaldi Group operates various liner services connecting Igoumenitsa to the Italian ports of Ancona and Brindisi directly, and mainly dedicated to the transport of rolling freight, cars and passengers. These Adriatic links are essential for traffics between Italy, Greece, Turkey and the entire Balkan peninsula.