Chinese shipping company Cosco Shipping has acquired a 67% stake in OLP, which operates the Piraeus port authority in Greece, for $409m.

The deal, approved by the Greek parliament in July, has allowed COSCO to run Piraeus until 2052.

The deal has also enabled COSCO Shipping to become the majority shareholder of OLP, taking over the port's management and operations, as well as its passenger ferry services.

"The company plans to invest around $326m to expand cruise facilities, upgrade the dockyard and create car space."

With the completion of the purchase, a new 11-man managing board, which features seven Chinese representatives, including the chairman and the CEO, has been formed, reported AFP.

As part of a 35-year concession signed in 2008, COSCO, through its Piraeus Container Terminal (PCT) unit, has already been managing two main container terminals at the port.

The company plans to invest around $326m to expand cruise facilities, upgrade the dockyard and create car space at the port.

Cosco Shipping president Wan Min was quoted by Xinhua as saying: "Cosco Shipping will not only operate a state-of-the-art port that will boost trading links between Asia and Europe, but will also help create jobs and invigorate the Greek economy."

Additionally, the company plans to make investments to improve the port’s supporting facilities, as well as upgrade the ship repairing capacity and explore opportunities for repairing offshore equipment.

The group further plans to upgrade the Ro-Ro vessel port in a bid to make the port one of the largest auto terminals in the Mediterranean.

In its effort to enhance economic growth in eastern and southern Europe, Cosco Shipping also plans to speed up the construction of the China-Europe Land-Sea Express Line.