This project was submitted in the following language: English (en).

Project description

Design, Construction, Financing, Operation, Maintenance and Exploitation
of the North Road Axis, Heraklion & Souda Ports of Crete and Rhodes Port.

Includes a) the design, construction of remaining sections, operation and maintenance of entire North Road Axis of Crete (NRAC) from Chania to Agios Nikolaos, 200km long in total; four-lane motorway sections of 41km are complete and 20km under construction, b) port, terrestrial works for multiuse station in cruise part of Souda Port, Crete, c) minimum set of works, upgrade of pier V at Heraklion Port, Crete, d) Rhodes Port operational upgrade, land works, building facilities including equipment.

Country, Region

Greece [Κρήτη (Kriti)]

Greece [Νότιο Αιγαίο (Notio Aigaio)]

Start date

October 2018

Estimated project cost

EUR 1748 million


Trans European Network – Transport

Multimodal Nodes (ports, airports, stations, logistic platforms)

Asset ownership


Project type


Project status


Revenue type

shadow tolls + availability payments

Economic rationale / Business Model

The project contributes to maritime connectivity and multimodality. Increased connectivity with the hinterland and improvement of internal sea links in the South Aegean will contribute to increased competitiveness and productivity of local economies and further development and differentiation of the tourism product. It involves connecting TEN-T infrastructure in nodes (ports/airports) and is expected to strengthen interconnectivity and regional Integration. Crete is an international tourism destination with significant tourism infrastructure and a very poor road network. It has a very developed primary sector which calls for an efficient and safe transport and distribution network. The existing road does not meet any TEN-T standards, resulting in unacceptably high accident rates and a questionable safety level. The NRAC connects the 4 main cities and their ports (Chania, Rethymno, Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos), 2 existing airports (Heraklio, Chania) & 1 to be constructed (Kasteli). To the eastern end, Rhodes Island is an attractive international tourism destination with significant potential for cruise activities development. The upgrade of port infrastructure will increae the island’s accessibility and improve the services offere

Financing details

Financing source: PPP

The cost of the NRAC completion is estimated at €1.600m. The cost of the minimum works set for the Heraklion port is estimated at €75m, the relevant cost for the Souda port at €48m and for the Rhodes port at €25m. The project duration is estimated at 60 months.
The proposed business model is that of a PPP. The construction and operation of the project will be undertaken by a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV). Sources of revenues include shadow tolls and/or availability payments.

The promoter has received / applied for EU / EIB financing support related to this project.

Existing or potential bottlenecks for the realisation of the project / Potential risks

The pending introduction to the Greek Parliament of legislation regarding public works and permitting as well as of legislation that integrates 2014 EU Directives 23, 24 & 25, regarding public procurement contracts, will lead to the resolution of potential risks and / or bottlenecks relating to the process leading up to the contracting stage and to the monitoring of the project for the whole period of construction and operation.

Project additional information

The project demonstrates synergies with the project “Upgrade of parts of the Northern Road Axis of Crete and actions for the improvement of road safety”, planned in NSRF 2014-2020, advances the continuous integration of transport infrastructure and transport policy development, optimizes accessibility facilities, targets optimizing infrastructure development and its use to enhance the performance of logistics and multimodal transport chains, supports maritime connectivity and multimodality, strengthens Interconnectivity and Regional Integration, contributes to ensuring full cooperation on infrastructure interoperability, should involve all relevant actors like State, regional and local authorities, the industry and the business community.

Publication: 30/05/2016 | Last update: 22/02/2017

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