GREEK NEWS

Largest Container Ship on the Planet Docks at Piraeus, Greece

Container Ship Piraeus
“OOCL Piraeus” has a transport capacity of 24,188 TEUs. Credit: Piraeus Container Terminal

One of the largest container transport ships in the world, the newly built “OOCL Piraeus”, arrived earlier in the week for the first time in the port of Piraeus, Greece.

The Orient Overseas Container Line Ltd (OOCL) vessel was greeted at a special event at the Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT). OOCL is a member of the Chinese COSCO group, which has recently increased its stake at the Piraeus Port to 67 percent.

“OOCL Piraeus” has a transport capacity of 24,188 TEUs. It is 399.99 m long and 61.30 m wide (24 rows) and has a deadweight of 215,000 tons. It is equipped with a scrubber, while it is powered by a WinGD 12X92 series main engine, which develops 61,000 kW for a speed of about 22.5 knots.

Container ship carries the name of the port of Piraeus

“We are proud that one of the largest container transport ships in the world carries the name of the largest Greek port, Piraeus, and will carry its glorious name to the world,” Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) CEO Zhang Anming said.

Zhang Anming noted the respect Greek and Chinese peoples had for each other for their ancient cultures despite their geographic distance.

He noted that “with the Maritime Silk Road, especially after the founding of PCT at the Port of Piraeus, another passage of friendship opened between the Chinese and the Greek people. The Container Terminal is a new gate for Greece to the world, with the name of Piraeus.”

The PCT official stressed that total investments in Piraeus in the last few years reached 600 million euros, while the annual freight capacity has shot up from 1.6 million to 6.2 million TEUs for PCT and to 7.2 million TEUs for the port of Piraeus.

“This boom has placed the Piraeus Container Terminal at the top of Mediterranean ports and among the 4 most important maritime trade hubs in Europe,” he pointed out.

In addition, for the years 2023 and 2024 PCT planned additional investments of 43 million euros, while another, nearly 20-million-euro investment by Piraeus Port Authority is pending authorities’ approval.

The port of Piraeus is under the control of Chinese Cosco

The biggest Greek port has gradually become under the control of China’s COSCO.

Since 2011, under pressure from both the debt crisis and the Troika (the European Commission, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund), the Greek government has sold almost all of the country’s important ports and airports to foreign companies.

Athens signed a contract with COSCO in 2016 that has allowed the Chinese company to secure a two-thirds majority stake in the port of Piraeus.

Earlier in the year, Greece approved a 600-million-euro investment for the expansion of the port which had run into obstacles after Greece’s Central Archaeological Council (KAS) decided to designate a significant part of Piraeus as a site of archaeological importance.

The Greek Shipping Ministry finally approved the investment plan which outlines the terms and conditions for the project and which includes among others special spatial planning and environmental protection terms and calls for a balanced integration with the surrounding urban areas of Piraeus, Drapetsona, Keratsini, Perama and Salamina.

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