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Studies for maritime transport in Thessaloniki are starting

23 August 2013 / 16:08:49  GRReporter
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Infrastructure studies and advisory services for public transport by sea in Thessaloniki were included in the Operational Programme "Improvement of Accessibility," according to a decision of Secretary in the Ministry of Development Stratos Simopoulos.

According to the document posted on the e-government website "Diavgiya" (Transparency), the construction of six pier-stations, the buildings where ticket counters will be housed as well as waiting areas for passengers of public transport by sea in Thessaloniki, and the combined links with other means of transport will be explored. Beneficiary of the project is "Egnatia Odos" JSC.

More specifically, the study is divided into the following subprojects:

- Topographical and underwater research,

- Hydrogeological studies and research,

- Research of wave conditions and a preliminary study of the port construction,

- Research on the impact on the environment,

- Feasibility study of additional stopping space, as well as research for the harmonization of the system with other means of public transport

- Final research of the port construction,

- Procurement announcement for the award of the system for public transport by sea to a private investor

- Research of building facilities: a final architectural research, a study of electromechanical installations, and research of spaces for the six pier-stations of the public transport by sea in Thessaloniki,

- Research of the institutional framework on maritime passenger transport - proposals and draft regulations for the operation of the systems of public transport by sea in Greece,

- Evaluation of the proposals of the architectural competition for the six pier-stations of the public transport by sea.

The possibility of a station at the airport will also be explored

The research budget amounts to 1 million euro (VAT included) and eligible costs – 780,000 euro. It should be noted that a feasibility study for the construction of a station at the airport will be carried out too, as well as its inclusion in the system. The baton was taken by "Egnatia Odos" JSC, which will announce procurement for the project on behalf of Central Macedonia Prefecture and the Municipalities of Kalamaria, Thessaloniki and Thermaikos.

The feasibility study prepared in 2011 by the Ministry of Infrastructure, estimated that in order for the venture to be profitable, ticket prices must range between 2 and 2.5 euro, without being subsidized by the state. The five pier-stations, which are proposed to be constructed include: Elefteria Square, the Town Hall of Thessaloniki, the Music Palace, "Aretsous" marina and the seaside town of Nei Epivates in Thessaloniki Bay.

6 +1 catamarans are also planned to be put into operation (six in motion and one spare), each of which will accommodate 200 to 250 passengers. According to the schedule, they will conduct courses every 15 minutes and the journey will take 45 minutes. Also, it is estimated that the express course from Nei Epivates to Elefteria Square will last 15 minutes. It is envisaged that catamarans will not travel for about two weeks per year due to bad weather.

Previous theoretical calculations imply that there should be investor interest. The private investor, who will undertake this venture, will need to purchase the catamarans (estimated at 7 million euro to 10 million euro) and operate routes from the infrastructure network created by government authorities in the region.

The project cost is estimated at 8.2 million euro

The development of the infrastructure will cost approximately 8.2 million euro, which will be attempted to be obtained from the Regional Operational Programme for Central Macedonia. Local authorities and "Egnatia Odos" JSC are preparing to sign a framework agreement so that the project could start.

Following the completion of the study, and if all goes well, there will be an announcement of a contract for the construction of the infrastructure (pier-stations, floating piers, building facilities, etc.) and accompanying activities such as transfer of networks, activities of plumbing and electrical companies, archaeological activities, expropriation of land, etc.

According to the programme agreement, the budget for the construction of building facilities will depend on the choice among the 20 best bids received from the architectural competition for young architects, conducted by the Ministry of Infrastructure.

However, much bureaucracy is expected to accompany the project, since permits from multiple state bodies will be requested, including the Fund for utilization of state assets. For example, "Aretsous" marina, the privatization of which is forthcoming, has been passed to the Fund.

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