Three projects were paused in the Port of Piraeus
Three projects were paused in the Port of Piraeus

Three projects were paused in the Port of Piraeus

Three development projects in the Port of Piraeus were halted based on a Council of State's decision.
RE+D magazine

Three investment projects in the port of Piraeus are temporarily halted, following a relevant decision of the suspensions committee of the Council of State discussed on March 24, 2023 following an appeal by mayors (Keratsiniou-Perama) and residents of the area in 2021.

Decision 47/2023 of the Council of Ministers states that in order for the AEPO (Decision to Issue Environmental Conditions) to be issued in order for the specific projects to proceed, it must be accompanied and must take into account the traffic study of the port which investigates the traffic loads of the area, extracting specific data whether or not the port burdens the city and submitting relevant proposals.

The specific study was a condition for the implementation of the projects foreseen in the master plan of the PPA which received the Official Gazette at the beginning of the year, and should have been completed and approved in the context of their environmental licensing. It was foreseen that in case, after the approval, there was a need to modify the design, the modification of the presidential decree should have been done before the implementation of the projects.

Projects to be halted

It is about the southern extension of the port of Piraeus, which will allow the docking of large cruise ships (over 300 meters), the dredging project in the central port of Piraeus, but also that of the extension to the port of Heraklion.

According to the project study, the expansion of the Car Handling Station at Herakleos Pier, in the commercial port of Keratsini, foresees the expansion of the pier by 35 acres. Its new dimensions will be 1,100 m long platforms with an operational depth of 12.50 m and a total area of 110,000 m2. Also, the project includes the improvement and upgrading of the existing port and E/M facilities.

This investment is expected to strengthen the competitiveness of the Port Car Station, as it will create 5,400 new car spaces.

In the decision it is pointed out that in view of the relationship of communication and complementarity of the stages of the environmental licensing of plans and projects as well as the provisions of the new regulatory plan of Attica for the functional interconnection of port activities with the urban fabric through integrated traffic planning, as well as for the training of a specialist of a plan with directions for traffic organization for the requirements of the tourism that will come from the cruise is feasible and at the same time it is necessary to prepare a comprehensive traffic study during the stage of the environmental licensing of the projects either during the revision of the already approved ones or during the approval of new ones.

Regarding the dredging in the port of the southern extension for the cruise and the dredging in the main port and the port of Herakles it is emphasized that the environmental permit cannot be executed before the circulation study is approved after consultation.

He notes that the above-mentioned projects involve interventions that are likely to cause recoverable damage, because they are linked, like the project of creating a new port for cruise ships, to the problem of managing and disposing of the dredges that will arise, for the solution of which another is being sought method by PPA S.A. In particular, the disposal of the dredges in licensed land facilities, instead of their disposal in a marine area or their integration in cement boxes of another port project.

It is noted that the Piraeus Port Authority has already completed the traffic study which has been submitted as an appendix to the Strategic Environmental Impact Study to the Environmental Licensing Division of the Ministry of the Environment. However, in order to approve the traffic study and the environmental impact study, they must first be consulted by the relevant ministries and agencies, as well as the regional council, in order to have the final opinion. All projects will then be re-licensed from scratch. It is noted that a request to cancel the mentioned appeal of the municipalities of the region (Keratsini-Perama) has been decided to be discussed before the Plenary of the Court, after postponement, on September 22, 2023.