October 3, 2016 / 9:01 AM / a year ago

China's COSCO eyes doubling of cruise passengers through Piraeus

ATHENS, Oct 3 (Reuters) - China’s biggest shipping company, COSCO Shipping, is aiming to more than double the number of cruise passengers using Greece’s biggest port in Piraeus, in coming years, the chairman of the group, Xu Lirong said on Monday.

“The movement of cruise passengers is around 1.1 million a year at present. Our short term goal is to increase it up to 1.5 million, and 3 million in the longer term,” Xu said at a ceremony at Piraeus launching new docking space for cruise ships.

COSCO Shipping, which owns the world’s fourth-largest container shipping fleet, bought 51 percent of the port’s operating company for 280.5 million euros ($315.5 million) this year, one of Greece’s biggest and most strategic privatisations since a debt crisis began in 2009. (Reporting By Angeliki Koutantou)

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