Article to Shipping Telegraph,

By President, Piraeus Chamber of Commerce & Industry (PCCI) Vassilis Korkidis

Vassilis Korkidis PCCI President «A sea full of opportunities in Piraeus port»

THE REVITALIZATION of the two large shipbuilding units, in the bay of Elefsina, creates a positive trend for the development of all the activities that develop in the Greek shipbuilding and repair sector and even more than that. But this, on its own, is not enough. The momentum of the revitalization of the Greek shipbuilding industry must not be lost, because there will not be another opportunity for Greece to return dynamically to the European, but also the world, map of shipbuilding, from where it had left in the past decade, due to wrong choices and ideologies, which led many companies in the shipbuilding sector to a downfall or lock down.

NOWADAYS, we should invest in shipbuilding innovation, which is a capital-intensive and knowledge-intensive sector, but also make every possible effort to improve the knowledge level of the human potential, active in the entire spectrum of maritime activities, on land and at sea in new technologies, related to shipping’s effort in the field of green transition. The conditions are ripe for the adoption of an integrated strategy, which will utilize the potential advantages of Piraeus and be able to attract investments from home and abroad, not only for the shipbuilding sector necessarily, but also for the wider business “ecosystem” that “surrounds” the shipbuilding sector and the shipping companies that the city hosts.

BLUE ECONOMY is linked to the future of Piraeus business community and the Piraeus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, in this context, has fervently supported the development of innovative actions, as elements of strengthening business activities, mainly, related to the maritime economy. P.C.C.I. has recommended in the policy of strengthening export activities the elements of quality as well as innovation, in the good sense of the term “patent”, but also of the synergies that can be created between companies. Shortly, a business delegation of twelve German companies active in the field of shipbuilding and the production of materials for ships will be in Piraeus, welcomed on the Chamber’s premises by corresponding Greek companies, aiming at developing synergies. Synergies that, if successful, will be the springboard for investments in sectors that are currently developing, such as, for example, 3D printing of materials for ships. Recently, the German company Thyssenkrupp and the Norwegian shipping group Wilhelmsen established a joint venture, Pelagus 3D, which will offer spare parts for the shipping industry, worldwide, through a digital platform and 3D printing. The new company will use modern additive manufacturing technology and a global network of partners to produce and deliver parts.

PIRAEUS, which recently ranked eighth among the ten largest shipping centers in the world, is ready to pursue these “super values” and, vigorously, strive to be in the top five of the said ranking of the Xinhua-Baltic International Shipping Center Development Index. It is worth noticing that the recently founded Union of Hellenic Shipyards, to the development of which P.C.C.I. played an important role, among others, aims, through an extroverted policy, at bringing the participating companies in contact with the European and Asian shipyards, where an extremely large number of ships of all types are built, including for Greek shipowners.

RECENTLY, a well-known Greek businessman, active in shipping and other fields as well, who has invested in the country’s shipbuilding sector, referring to synergies, underlined that “one plus one, doesn’t make two, but three”, making the goal of developing synergies clear enough, so that any effort is profitable and efficient.

I MENTION, once again, that Piraeus is ready to chase the profits, either through the investments that have attracted and will attract shortly the large shipbuilding units, or through the development of synergies aiming at strengthening exports. According to calculations, Greek shipyards can increase Greek exports of ship equipment by 1.35 billion euro in the first year of reopening. The renewal of the country’s coastal shipping fleet by 2030 requires investments of more than 4.5 billion euro, and a large part of these investments must be made in Greek shipyards.

PIRAEUS has expertise, quality and speed in the production of materials and consumables for ships, but above all an “open-minded” business. Piraeus should be “heard” internationally, not only for the fact that it hosts the world’s strongest shipping industry, but also because it is a business center open to investments and synergies.