China's COSCO is forging ahead with a plan to build a European transhipment hub, reports Reuters. The state owned shipping giant is expected to make an offer for Greece's rail network after becoming the sole bidder for the country's largest port.
Buying TRAINOSE and Piraeus Port would give COSCO maritime connections to the Suez Canal and rail links to the Balkans and central and Eastern Europe.
However, COSCO could face competition for the rail network, including from U.S. railroad holding company Watco. According to sources, apart from COSCO and Watco, a Greek group is interested are interested in TRAINOSE and is looking for a partner.
Privatisation agency HRADF had invited suitors for TRAINOSE, the sole provider of rail services in Greece, to express interest from Feb. 1.
A COSCO spokeswoman declined to comment on prospective bids for other Greek assets. She said the firm believed buying Piraeus would improve the port's competitiveness and efficiency, but declined to elaborate on detailed plans.