Located on a flat plain near the ancient site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Thriasio Logistics Centre may not attract as many tourists, but it is certainly impressive when you look at its numbers.
The project plan calls for the construction of buildings measuring 235,000 m2, including 210,000 m2 of floor space, to accommodate up to 250,000 shipping pallets. Two five-storey vehicle terminals will have space for 4,000 automobiles, along with spaces for trucks.
The facility, with intermodal capabilities, will be capable of servicing up to 400 trucks and 50 train cars per day. It will be able to provide a broad range of services including customs brokering, heavy vehicle maintenance, waste management, and recycling. According to concessionaire executives, companies engaged in the supply chain are already lining up for a large share of the warehousing space.
The massive freight village is located west of Athens on the Thriasio Plain – one of Greece’s main industrial districts – and is expected to serve as a model for a number of projects across the country that are on the drawing board.
In the last 10 years, Chinese shipping giant COSCO has transformed the Port of Piraeus, the country’s largest port, located just a few miles from the new logistics centre, into the second busiest container terminal in the Mediterranean and one of the 10 busiest in Europe. Since 2009, when COSCO took control of some of the port’s container operations, it has also brought in several major multinationals from China and the U.S. that are using the port as a distribution centre.
Further investments planned by COSCO, combined with billions of euros in new road, rail, port, and airport projects, are expected to turn Greece into the logistics gateway for the Balkans and central Europe. Similar plans are in the works for Greece’s second-largest port, the Port of Thessaloniki in the north.
The Thriasio project has been broken down into two phases, with the construction of Thriasio I expected to reach completion within 24 months of breaking ground. The construction contract for the first phase was awarded to Greek construction and energy company Mytilineos Holdings for the initial amount of €109 million, along with and an agreement with the centre’s concessionaires: freight-handling company Goldair and ETVA-VIPE, an operator of industrial parks.
Over a 60-year period, the concessionaires will be responsible for developing and operating the centre’s facilities on the 147-acre plot where Thriasio I will be situated. Financing will be provided by a loan from Piraeus Bank, which holds a 65% share in ETVA VIPE.
“The financing of a such a large-scale investment, with strong growth characteristics and many positive consequences for the economy, marks Piraeus Bank’s strategic commitment to actively support the country’s growth efforts,” says Piraeus Bank CEO Christos Megalou.
Bidding for a 25-year concession for Thriasio II opened in February 2019. The concession is for the operation, service provision, and maintenance of the Commercial Train Terminal and Sorting Station, as well as for the purchase and installation of equipment for intermodal and other forms of freight transfer and loading. The equipment purchases are estimated to amount to roughly €20-25 million.
Once up and running, the Thriasio Logistics Centre will create some 3,000 jobs. But beyond this, it will serve as the flagship project in Greece’s efforts to establish itself as a transport and logistics hub for Southeast Europe, marking its emergence as a critical link in the global supply chains linking Europe and Asia.