Monday, 21 February 2022

Seaports See More Vessels, Passengers in 2021 than in 2020

21 February, 2022 - Over 310,000 vessels arrived in Croatian seaports in 2021, 25% more than in 2020, and there were 27.3 million passengers, up 45.4% on 2020 but down 23% on 2019, according to the national statistical office.

The cargo turnover was 21.6 million tonnes, up 1.1% on 2020.

Most of the passenger turnover was recorded from April through September and it was highest in August and September, in keeping with the peak tourist season.

In Q4 2021, 60,000 vessels arrived in Croatian seaports (+9.5%) and there were 3.6 million passengers (+37%), while cargo fell 8.7% to 5.4 million tonnes.

The cargo decrease was due to a 24.2% fall in liquid cargo, which accounts for 42% of the seaport cargo turnover, and a 1.6% fall in general cargo which has a share of 30%.

In Q4 2021, the Omišalj port saw the sharpest cargo turnover fall on the year to 1.3 million tonnes (-37,8%).

As for passenger turnover in Q4, it was highest in Split with 580,600 passengers (+42%), followed by Zadar with 366,000 (+21%) and Preko on Ugljan island with 326,000 (+18%).

All other Adriatic ports saw year-on-year passenger increases in Q4 2021. In Q4 2020, there were tougher travel restrictions due to COVID and there was no vaccination yet.

The highest passenger turnover increase in Q4 was recorded in Dubrovnik with just under 147,000 (+122.6%), followed by Rabac and Hvar, which saw increases of about 90%.

The last quarter of 2021 also saw a rise in the number of personal vehicles and buses embarking and disembarking, with 731,000 personal vehicles (+33%) and over 4,600 buses (+78.6%).

Friday, 30 August 2019

40 Million Kuna Cres Port Reconstruction Project Presented

ZAGREB, August 30, 2019 - Forty million kuna will be invested until the end of 2021 for a project for the reconstruction and upgrade of the western section of Cres port, with most the funds being provided from EU funds, the project's promoter, the port authority in Cres, said on Friday.

The construction works will be financed from the Competitiveness and Cohesion Operational Programme with a grant of 29.2 million kuna, while the Ministry of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure will secure 5.1 million kuna and the remainder will be supplied by the port authority.

According to port director Anton Opatić, a 185-metre breakwater will be constructed that will serve to berth passenger ships as well as on-land facilities.

This will allow for better connectivity between Cres and other islands in the Kvarner area and reduce overcrowding during peak traffic.

Minister of the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković said that grants are being obtained for projects along the entire coast, adding that this will contribute to the renaissance of Croatia's coast.

MEP Tonino Picula said that the islands are communities that have managed over the past few years to establish themselves as very important and have managed to develop thanks to EU funds.

Croatia has 1,244 islands, about 50 of them are settled and ten are beneficiaries of European energy transition projects, Picula said.

More Cres news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 16 August 2019

Energia Naturalis Holds Third of Luka Ploče Port

ZAGREB, August 16, 2019 - The offer made by the Vukovar-based Energia Naturalis company for the purchase of shares in the Port of Ploče was accepted by 119 shareholders, and as a result of buying an additional 10.36% of the stock, Energia Naturalis now has 36.01% interest in the Luka Ploče joint stock company, the Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) reported on Friday.

On 10 July, Energia Naturalis published its offer for the takeover of the company whose core business are maritime traffic services, stevedoring and warehousing of goods.

The offer expired on 7 August and until then 119 shareholders accepted the offer selling 43,947 shares, which accounted for 10.39% of the entire stock.

Before this round of the acquisition Energia Naturalis held a quarter of the Luka Ploče (108,362 shares), and the latest purchase rose its interest to 152,309 shares, that is 36% of the entire stock.

Recently, the HANFA regulator gave a green-light for Energia Naturalis's acquisition of those 43,947 shares at the price of 412 per share kuna.

Energia Naturalis (ENNA Group) is a holding company which has about a score of companies, including the PPD Group specialised in distribution and supply of natural gas.

More news about Croatian ports can be found in the Business section.

Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Cooperation Agreement Between Ports of Rijeka and Haifa Signed

ZAGREB, July 30, 2019 - On Tuesday, the third day of her state visit to Israel, Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović attended in Haifa the naming ceremony of a catamaran built in Croatia and the signing of the International Sister Seaports Agreement between the Port of Rijeka and the Port of Haifa.

The catamaran is seven years old and was built in a private shipyard on Korčula island.

The agreement between the two seaports was signed by the temporary CEO of the Port of Rijeka, Duško Grabovac, and Haifa Port CEO Mandi Zatzman.

I am convinced that this agreement, which is a reflection of the friendship between two countries and the resoluteness to deepen economic relations, will contribute to strengthening our economic ties, the president said in her address.

The Rijeka port can become the Mediterranean gateway for Israeli goods and commodities to enter Central Europe, the Croatian side believes, and Grabar-Kitarović underscored that if it were to expand its terminals, Rijeka could truly become the entrance to the European Union, being the closest point from the Middle and the Far East.

With the shortest transit time, transport through the Port of Rijeka saves time and energy, she underscored. "Therefore, I hope that the Port of Rijeka will become a point of entry for Israeli products into the European Union,” the president remarked.

Trade between Croatia and Israel is one of my priorities, she underscored.

She congratulated all those who were involved in the catamaran project and recalled the words of George William Curtis, "It is not the ship so much as the skilful sailing that assures the prosperous voyage."

I wish you a favourable wind and a calm sea, she added.

In her address, Grabar-Kitarović underscored the historical ties between the two cities on the coast, when Rijeka rescued Jews who were fleeing from the Holocaust and sailing toward their promised land.

Israel's hosts expressed their satisfaction with the signed agreement and assessed that this was an exciting moment in cooperation between the two countries. They also recalled that Jewish immigrants sailed from Rijeka to Israel on the "Draga" ship in 1938.

Numerous ships carrying Jews travelled across the Adriatic to their new land and the years between 1937 and 1949 were especially significant, Zatzman said, adding that the history of Susak is written into the history of Israel.

Croatia's Economy Minister Darko Horvat said that the catamaran was one of those projects that are created in small shipyards in Croatia and become an export product.

Putting ourselves at the disposal of buyers is an honour and a pleasure. Despite all those problems that Croatia's shipbuilding is experiencing, this is proof that building ships in Croatia can survive on a market basis, he said.

He added that this does not refer to ships that used to be built in the Uljanik and 3. Maj docks, but that Croatia has to find its niche for which it can find a market.

Croatian shipbuilding has to take on a new philosophy, Horvat believes.

Horvat confirmed that Croatia is not satisfied with the level of trade between the two countries.

We have trade valued at €60 million with Albania and €60 million with Israel which can by no means be satisfactory, he said and announced two conferences that will be held in Zagreb and Tel Aviv.

An innovation conference will be held in Zagreb in late September that business associations from Israel will attend and that will be followed by a conference in Tel Aviv.

Trade with Israel in 2018 amounted to €53.3 million, which is a fall of 18.8% compared to 2017 when it amounted to €65.7 million. Croatian exports to Israel amounted to €28.5 million (-44.5%) while imports from Israel amounted to €24.8 million (+73.6%).

In 2018, 68,238 tourists from Israel visited Croatia, which is an increase of 13.5% compared to 2017 and they generated 179,112 bed nights (+18.4%).

Israel's EL AL airline has a regular charter line to Zagreb, four times a week, that is operational from 3 June to 21 October.

During talks with President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel's Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz, Grabar-Kitarović underscored the importance of establishing direct Tel Aviv-Zagreb flights as and additional boost for successful business between companies in the two countries.

Having in mind the growing number of Israeli tourists in Croatia and the strong interest of Croatian citizens to visit the Holy Land, Croatia believes that regular Zagreb-Tel Aviv flights would strongly contribute to firmer connections between the two countries, people and companies.

More news about relations between Croatia and Israel can be found in the Politics section.

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Chinese Builders of Pelješac Bridge Interested in New Rijeka Container Terminal

Seven companies from Europe, the Middle East and the Far East have expressed interest in the construction of the new container terminal in Rijeka, the Rijeka Port Authority director Denis Vukorepa said, adding that he was not allowed to disclose their names and references, reports Jutarnji List on May 19, 2019.

However, sources close to the government have disclosed that among the interested companies is the Chinese consortium Ningbo Port and CRBC (China Road and Bridge Company), the company that is constructing the Pelješac Bridge and the port of Singapore.

After analysing the documents received, which is expected in the next 15 days, all seven applicants (or perhaps fewer, depending on the quality of their references and project visions) will be invited to send their final bids for a 50-year concession. The estimated value of the concession (excluding VAT) is 20.5 billion kuna.

"These are respectable port terminal operators. We are very pleased because we were hoping for such a response. It turned out that this transport route is very interesting," said Vukorepa. The first stage of the concession process formally concluded on Friday, and the plan is to sign a contract for the Zagreb Deep Sea terminal by the end of September.

The tender is looking for a concessionaire for the performance of construction works and the provision of services, with the obligation of investing about 70 to 80 million euro in the construction of the terminal which is now 400 meters long and was partially built as part of the project with the World Bank and the European Union.

During the recent visit by the Chinese prime minister to Croatia, it was announced that Chinese companies were interested in the concession, but Vukorepa did not want to comment on this information.

The intention is to build the Zagreb Deep Sea terminal in the second phase up to a total length of 680 meters. If the concessionaire is not interested in this, the concession would be reduced to 30 years. The Port Authority is offering to the concessionaire a ten-year exclusivity, meaning that no new capacities for container shipment would be built during that period. The main advantage of the new terminal is that it will be able to receive ultra-large container ships because the sea depth is 20 metres.

The Port Authority says that it is expected that the ports of the northern Adriatic will reach their maximum capacity by the next year, which means that the new terminal will be constructed in just the right moment. It will be able to transport more than 400,000 TEU per year in the first phase, and at least 800,000 to one million TEU per year when it reaches full capacity, foreseen for 2030.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Gordana Grgas).

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle section.


Wednesday, 24 April 2019

New Passenger Terminal at Zadar's Gaženica Port Opens

ZAGREB, April 24, 2019 - A new passenger terminal at Zadar's Gaženica Port was opened on Wednesday on Zadar County Day.

After President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović officially opened the new terminal, Zadar County Prefect Božidar Longin said that the port project was something that generations of Zadar citizens had dreamt of.

Longin recalled that tourism was the strongest economic branch in the county and that several other local sectors would profit from the port, such as agriculture, crafts, enterprise and retail outlets.

"That will be particularly visible after Zadar becomes a home port for cruise ships that will sail around the world. Considering that the situation in the county regarding road and maritime infrastructure is excellent, we now need to encourage investments to modernise the railway and expand Zadar Airport, which is a project that we are working on seriously and thoroughly. We are currently implementing infrastructure and economic projects in the county valued at almost 1.5 billion kuna," he underscored, adding that last year the number of employed people grew by close to 5% to reach 60,000, for the first time since the county was established.

He said that quality fishing infrastructure was being built on the island of Ugljan and that work on a fishing port in Gaženica was expected to start soon. The total value of those two projects amounts to HRK 60 million.

Stephen Xuereb, Executive Director of Global Ports Holding, the concessionaire of the Gaženica Port, said that Zadar was an important addition to the company's network of cruise ports in the Mediterranean, following Venice and Montenegro, and that it would complete its services on the cruise port market.

The new Gaženica passenger terminal is one of the most modern cruise port terminals in the Mediterranean. It is a two-storey building that spreads across 20,000 square metres and provides all the relevant services for domestic and international transport. The construction of the terminal, which began in 2016, cost 27 million euro.

Global Ports Holding Plc signed a 20-year concession agreement between its wholly owned operating subsidiary Zadar International Port Operations d.o.o. and the Port Authority of Zadar for the operating rights of the Gaženica cruise port.

The concession includes cruise ship passenger port and terminal services, an international ferry terminal, Ro-Ro services, and vehicles and passenger services, Global Ports Holding says on its website.

More Zadar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Rijeka Marks 300th Anniversary of Free Port Charter

ZAGREB, March 18, 2019 - A ceremony was held at the Maritime and History Museum of the Croatian Coast in Rijeka to mark the 300th anniversary of a charter declaring Rijeka a free port, with Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Minister Oleg Butković saying that the event had marked the beginning of the city's intensive overall growth.

The Port of Rijeka was granted a charter as a free port by Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI on 18 March 1719.

Addressing the ceremony, Mayor Vojko Obersnel said that the charter had been of critical importance for the city's development. Important events in that development were the construction of roads towards the country's interior in the 18th century and the construction of a railway in the 19th century, he recalled.

"The status that accompanied Rijeka at the time when it was part of Austria, Hungary, Italy, Yugoslavia and now Croatia, has made the city an important geographic point and opened it up to the world," said Obersnel, noting that Rijeka's turbulent and rich past had made it what it was today - an open and tolerant city with different ethnic groups, religions and cultures.

Speaking of projects to upgrade the port, Obersnel recalled one launched in 2003 with the support of the World Bank to modernise the port infrastructure. He said that the port development projects also included a plan to build a lowland railway, the D-403 road, a new container terminal and a ring road.

Noting that Rijeka has extraordinary economic potential, Minister Butković said a major investment cycle was underway involving seven port infrastructure projects worth 133 million euro, which, together with the road D-403, made total investments exceed 200 million euro.

Speaking of plans to build a lowland railway from Zagreb to Rijeka, Butković said that this year a tender would be published for the construction of the first section, running from Hrvatski Leskovac to Karlovac.

Rijeka Port Authority head Denis Vukorepa said that the container terminal at the port's Zagrebačka Obala section was nearing completion, that possible investors had shown interest and that an agreement on a licence to operate the terminal would be signed in September.

He noted that all current projects would be completed in 2021 by which time the port would become a strong intermodal transport centre in the northern Adriatic.

Answering a reporter's question, Butković said that he expected Chinese partners, too, to be interested in the Zagrebačka Obala terminal and the lowland railway, which is expected to be financed with EU funds as well as based on the concession model.

More news about Rijeka can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 18 December 2018

Croatian Maritime Sector Facing Challenges

 ZAGREB, December 18, 2018 - A conference on the challenges of Croatian maritime sector in doing business heard on Monday that aside from investing in the maritime infrastructure, it is necessary to improve the port infrastructure required for attracting cargo and the connection between ports and the rail sector.

Over the past dozen years, the government invested over 600 million euro in the maritime infrastructure and it is investing 130 million euro in the Rijeka port through the absorption of European funds, said Maja Markovčić Kostelac, state secretary at the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure Ministry.

She underlined the importance of concessionaires for attracting cargo as well as the challenge of connecting ports and the rail sector, saying it is necessary to attract investment in the rail infrastructure and logistics.

She said Croatia's tax policy had helped its shipping companies weather the crisis on the global market.

Vedran Devčić of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce said rising protectionism and possible trade wars were key global trends affecting the future of the maritime sector.

He said he hoped for a Croatian mega project worth several billion euros which would comprise a new, big container port on Krk island, a new road and rail bridge between Krk and the mainland and a Rijeka-Karlovac-Botovo railway towards the Hungarian border.

More news on the Croatian maritime sector and economy can be found in our Business section.

Monday, 29 October 2018

After Years of Waiting, Sućuraj on Hvar Getting a New Ferry Port

After the recent cabinet meeting in Hvar, director of the Split-Dalmatia County Port Authority, Domagoj Maroević, spoke about his enthusiasm for soon to be launched projects, reports Dalmacija Danas on October 29, 2018.

We certainly have a lot of reasons to be pleased after the government met in Hvar. We have received 22 million kuna from European funds for the construction of a new ferry port in Sućuraj on Hvar. This is one of the most important projects because the Drvenik-Sućuraj line is one of the busiest in Split-Dalmatia County and has seen the fastest growth in the number of passengers and vehicles. So far, it is possible to load just 30 vehicles in Sućuraj and the construction of a new port will allow more than 60 vehicles to be loaded onto the ferry, and this will make our lives much easier.

When will the works begin?

We have received the construction permit and we will publish the tender next week. I hope that the works will begin in 2019. They should take about a year and a half, and we hope that the new ferry port will be operational for the 2020 season.

hvar sucuraj 2

Eastern part of Hvar is expected to see major benefits from this in terms of traffic connections with the mainland?

Absolutely. The Sućuraj-Jelsa road, which has already been built in the 14-kilometre Jelsa to Poljica section, is necessary for the entire island and I think that this part of the island will be further developed after the construction of this road. The construction of the port is a prerequisite for the road to see a larger number of vehicles. Last year, more than 450,000 passengers passed through the Sućuraj port. These are large figures and therefore this road is a necessity.

What other investments will Dalmatia see over the next year or two?

We hope that in the next 6 months we will receive financing from EU funds for the construction of a port in Omiš. We already have a construction permit for the project and expect to sign a grant agreement by the end of the year. The investment would reach almost 90 million kuna. Also, project documentation for the construction of a new catamaran port in Stomorska is being prepared. This investment is worth about 15 million kuna. During 2019, we expect to finish the project documentation for the reconstruction and extension of the port in Stari Grad on Hvar, with the investment worth about 75 million kuna. With these two ports, we would solve the current problems for docking on the island of Hvar for the foreseeable future.

If you are interested in more news about Hvar, check out our section devoted to the island.

Tuesday, 25 September 2018

China's COSCO Shipping Wants to Use Ploče Port

ZAGREB, September 25, 2018 - A leading Chinese shipping company, COSCO Shipping, wants to include the southern Croatian seaport of Ploče in its business plans for the purpose of establishing regular shipping connections whereby Ploče Port can become an import-export destination as of 2019, the director of COSCO's regional office Vladimir Lekić said in Sarajevo on Tuesday.

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