ATHENS, Feb. 3 (Xinhua) -- Greece's largest port Piraeus is having a significant move as construction for a new cruise pier is to start this month, according to an official announcement on Monday.
Piraeus Port Authority (PPA) awarded the contract to Greek construction company TEKAL S.A. to build the pier in 32 months, an e-mailed press release issued by PPA stated.
The project, initially budgeted at 136.3 million euros, will cost 103 million euros (114 million U.S. dollars) plus VAT.
The new cruise pier is one of the mandatory investments in the master plan of China's COSCO SHIPPING for the PPA, which was approved by Greek authorities last autumn.
COSCO SHIPPING acquired a majority stake in PPA in 2016 and has already started changing the port's outlook.
According to the master plan, investments of more than 600 million euros will be pumped into the port in the coming years.
"The expansion will be located next to the existing cruise facilities, where large-scale integrated infrastructures will be created in order to meet the growing needs, and contribute to the tourism development and the emergence of Greece as a tourist hub in the cruise sector too," read the press statement.
"We are proceeding to the implementation of a significant investment not only for the Piraeus port but also for the local and national economy. The major project of the Southern Expansion will further strengthen the position of Piraeus as a big homeport in the Mediterranean," the press release quoted PPA Chairman Yu Zenggang as saying.
The Chinese company's subsidiary Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) has also been managing the port's container terminals since 2009, posting remarkable results. (1 euro = 1.11 U.S dollars)