Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Croatia Expects Wave of Investment in Transport Infrastructure

ZAGREB, May 21, 2019 - The Zagreb Infrastructure Summit was held on Tuesday to discuss the planning and development of infrastructure projects in Croatia, including the development of seaport, airport and railway transport infrastructure.

"We are witnessing a major pickup in the financing of transport infrastructure. Since funding from one source is not enough, we are combining all sources available to us," said Tomislav Mihotić, state secretary for infrastructure at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.

He said that large investment projects regarding railway, road and airport infrastructure were planned, citing the railway lines Dugo Selo - Križevci, Zabok - Zaprešić, and Gradec - Sveti Ivan Žabno.

"We are building the Pelješac Bridge, the largest road infrastructure project that is being implemented with EU funding, and we have also begun projects relying on domestic funding. Some are being implemented from domestic sources, some through concessions, some with the aid of EU funding, and some based on private-public partnerships," Mihotić said.

Speaking of road infrastructure, Mihotić pointed out the 160 million euro Bina Istra project to upgrade the motorway network in Istria County, including the reconstruction of the Učka tunnel. He mentioned the planned construction of a road from Krapina to the Slovenian border and the construction of an express road from Solin to Split to Omiš in southern Croatia, a project worth 300 million euro.

He also mentioned the construction of a bridge across the Sava river at Stara Gradiška and the continued construction of a motorway from the bridge at Beli Manastir in eastern Croatia to the Hungarian border.

Mihotić said that one of the largest projects was the construction of a lowland railway from the northern Adriatic city of Rijeka to the Hungarian border. "This is an extremely important strategic project because it develops maritime transport, trade and railway. If we manage to obtain funds from the EU and use them for part of this project, we will try to cover the rest through concession agreements," he said.

"Our interest is to link up with China and other remote countries so that they can use our ports as their gateway to the European market. But the general problem is the underdevelopment of all Croatian Adriatic ports, because of total traffic through the Suez, about 8 percent enters the Adriatic, while over 50 percent uses the Baltic. The port infrastructure should be much better if Central Europe is to be interested in changing the existing transport routes. That's why Chinese partners are extremely important to us," Mihotić said.

The deputy director for EU funds of the HŽ Infrastruktura railway company, Janja Groš, said that the company planned investment projects of 9.3 billion kuna (1.26 billion euro), of which 60 percent would be provided by the EU.

Liu Kai, economic adviser at the Chinese Embassy in Croatia, said that the Pelješac Bridge project was a good example of cooperation between the two countries. "After a Chinese company has been selected in the tender for the construction of Pelješac Bridge, China's cooperation with Croatia has opened up a new dimension. The bridge is a symbol of the road to a joint success and cooperation between China, Croatia and the EU," Liu said.

He said that the Chinese economy had risen by 6.4 percent in the first quarter of this year as a result of strong industrial growth and higher consumer spending.

"Complying with EU rules and standards, more and more Chinese companies are interested in investing in projects in Croatia, not just in infrastructure, but also in science, culture and tourism," Liu said.

More news about transport infrastructure can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 3 May 2019

Introducing 3D Signalling for Driving in Wrong Direction on Croatian Motorways

The Croatian Motorways public company (HAC) has begun the implementation of a pilot project to install horizontal signalling with 3D effect at ten junctions and five rest stops that will alert drivers who are driving in the wrong direction, reports Večernji List on May 3, 2019.

The HAC says they receive about 200 reports a year of driving in the wrong direction on the motorways, but not all reports are confirmed. Some drivers realize their mistake on time and then return to the right direction before the police arrive. However, about 70 per cent of the reports are confirmed, but most end with no serious consequences or traffic accidents. Still, since 2007, 38 accidents occurred on the HAC motorways due to driving in the wrong direction and 11 people were killed, while 47 were injured.

 

The HAC says that vehicles moving in the opposite direction on motorways represent a serious threat to the safety of all traffic participants. Such driving often ends with a frontal crash and, although the number of such violations is not large, the consequences are often severe injuries and deaths. The mistake most commonly occurs at junctions and rest stops due to drivers being tired, people driving under the influence, a fall in concentration, people not noticing traffic signals or, in the worst case, due to the self-destructive behaviour of some drivers.

The HAC says that the existing traffic signalling preventing the entry of vehicles in the wrong direction is not enough and needs to be supplemented. Horizontal 3D traffic signalization would thus, together with the existing vertical signalisation, act as a physical obstacle, further alerting drivers that they are driving in the wrong direction.

The HAC states that such a way of preventing vehicle entry in the opposite direction is unique in Europe and is used as a pilot-project only in Austria. The horizontal 3D traffic signalling consists of two sections. The first part is made up of several smaller elements, usually three, that create a 3D effect of spikes, while the second part consists of a 3D effect of an elevated surface.

The HAC has prepared an analytical report on 3D traffic signalling and has received consent from the Ministry of the Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure. They have developed the tender documentation and are now launching a public procurement process for the project implementation. The estimated value of the works is one million kuna. For the pilot project, the junctions and rest stops with most incidents involving driving in the wrong direction have been selected.

At each junction, the signalling will be placed at two spots where it is possible to enter the motorway in the wrong direction, while at the rest stops it will be placed at a single location.

The HAC expects that the implementation of the project will start after the tourist season when they complete the public procurement procedure and conclude the contract with the winning bidder. They will then track and analyse the data for a year to see if the project was successful. The HAC expects that the number of incidents with driving in the wrong direction will be reduced.

Translated from Večernji List (reported by Josip Bohutinski).

More news about Croatian motorways can be found in the Travel section.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Brajdica Terminal in Rijeka Undergoing Major Reconstruction

ZAGREB, March 26, 2019 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković visited the northern coastal city of Rijeka and the Brajdica terminal which is currently under reconstruction, an investment that is valued at some 30 million euro, and there he expressed his satisfaction with investments in key infrastructure for the Rijeka area.

Plenković visited the construction site of the Rijeka - Brajdica railway station and the construction of an intermodal terminal, a project that is being jointly implemented by the Rijeka Port Administration and the HŽ Infrastruktura railway operator and 85% of the project or 30.2 million euro is being financed from the Connecting Europe Facility.

"We also visited the Brajdica terminal, one of the projects valued at some 30 million euro of all the current investments in port, railway and road infrastructure in Rijeka that are worth as much as 200 million euro," Plenković told reporters.

The intermodal terminal being reconstructed at Brajdica is valued at 36 million euro.

Plenković added that in about three years' time Rijeka would have new capacities and that it would resolve one of its more expensive road problems which will connect the terminal with the motorway in a much faster and simpler way than now, he underscored.

The connecting road should be completed in about 30 months' time and is valued at about 70 million euro and a call for bids will be advertised in April, Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković announced recently.

"We are satisfied with these investments that will make Rijeka not just the European capital of culture next year and will put Croatia on the cultural map of Europe but also it will significantly strengthen all key infrastructure facilities and services that strengthen the economy and quality of life for Rijeka residents and everyone who lives in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County and from two other counties who come here frequently," Plenković said.

More Rijeka news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Friday, 22 March 2019

New Ferry Dock for Island of Kaprije Before Summer 2020

As Morski writes on the 21st of March, 2019, the first conference regarding the construction of a brand new ferry dock in the port of Kaprije has been held at Šibenik's city hall, handled by the Port Authority of Šibenik-Knin County.

The total value of the island's ferry dock project currently stands at over 11 million kuna, of which 9.3 million kuna is being financed by European Union funds, 1.6 million kuna is being co-financed by the Croatian Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, head by Oleg Butković, while the Port Authority of Šibenik-Knin County is participating in the project with a bit more than 42,000 kuna.

The details of the new Kaprije project were presented to those gathered by the director of the competent port authority, Željko Dulibić, who pointed out that the new pier will be 55 meters long, with a surface measurement of 330 square metres, and will allow for vessels with deeper beams that are less susceptible to the impact of winds to dock, and so that the island of Kaprije's inhabitants will be better connected to the mainland.

The location on which the ferry dock is set to be constructed is located in an area which is managed by by the Port Authority of Šibenik-Knin County and is located about 700 metres northwest of the centre of Kaprije.

The main objectives of the project are to improve the traffic connections of the island of Kaprije with the mainland City of Šibenik and the other islands which belong to the Šibenik archipelago, improve traffic safety within the centre of the bay and Kaprije, improve the access of Kaprije's residents to their respective workplaces, education facilities, medical facilities and other such locations which typically lie on the mainland, and reduce traffic congestion and noise as well as aim to improve overall traffic safety within the centre of the bay and Kaprije.

The current foreseen deadline for the completion of this infrastructure project is summer 2020.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business and lifestyle pages for much more.

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.

Monday, 18 March 2019

Croatia Control Awarded at World Air Traffic Management Congress

ZAGREB, March 18 (Hina) - Croatia Control (HKZP), a state-owned company that provides air navigation services, pursuing the basic principle of a high level of air traffic safety in conformity with the Single European Sky framework, received the European Commission’s Single European Sky Award 2019 for a multinational project on the establishment of a joint South East Common Sky Initiative Free Route Airspace, which became operational on February 1.

The award was given to Croatia Control at the World Air Traffic Management Congress which took place in Madrid.

The partners in the projects are air navigation service providers from Austria, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro. The award was given in the network performance improvement category by the European Commission at the SES awards ceremony on the occasion of the 2019 World ATM Conference in Madrid.

HKZP director-general Vlado Bagarić said that the project offered possibilities for choosing the shortest routes between central and southeast Europe, including traffic corridor towards Turkey and further to the Middle East.

"Airspace users will contribute to environmental protection by reducing fuel consumption and decreasing CO2 and NOx emissions with shorter flight times," Bagarić was quoted as saying.

"Potential per day savings could amount to 1,940 NM of flight distance, 285 minutes of flight time, with the fuel consumption reduction of 8,000 kg and CO2 emission reduction of 25,500 kg," Croatian Control says on its website.

The project contributes to achieving the European Commission’s goals regarding the implementation of Free Route Airspace across Europe and also fulfils airspace users’ requests for having multiple route options available for the same destination. The project, supported by the Eurocontrol’s Network Manager, led to creating one of the largest cross-border free route airspace structures in Europe, and is a major step towards achieving the common European Free Route Airspace by 2022.

Croatia Control is a state-owned limited liability company that operates in Croatia pursuant to relevant EU and national laws and regulations, adhering to the principles and procedures of ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation) and EUROCONTROL (European Organisation for the Safety of Air Navigation).

More news about air travel in Croatia can be found in the Travel section.

Monday, 4 March 2019

Number of Passengers in Croatia Down 1% from 2017

ZAGREB, March 4, 2019 - A total of 20.5 million passengers were transported in Croatia in the last quarter of 2018, or 1.3% fewer than at the same time in 2017, while the transport of goods increased by 6.4% to 32 million tonnes, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (DZS) show.

In the whole of 2018, 1% fewer passengers and 3% more goods were transported than in 2017.

Quarter-on-quarter declines in passenger transport were recorded in road and air transport, while all other modes of transport generated growth. On the other hand, goods transport increased for all modes of transport except internal waterways and air transport.

In the fourth quarter of 2018, compared with the same time in 2017, 5.5 million passengers were transported by rail, up 0.5%. The number of passengers transported by road fell by 2.6% to 12.6 million and that of passengers transported by air dropped by 0.6% to 474,000. Domestic shipping companies reported a 1.8% increase in the number of passengers to 1.8 million.

In the final quarter of 2018, 32 million tonnes of goods was transported, an increase of 6.4% year on year. The largest decrease was observed on internal waterways, of 25.5% to 143,000 tonnes. Air transport fell by 1% to 1,000 tonnes, while rail transport increased by 21.3% to 3.8 million.

The number of passengers transported in January-December 2018 was 85 million, or 1% fewer than in 2017. The decrease was mostly due to a decline in road transport, of 3.7% to 47.7 million. At the same time, 20.2 million passengers were transported by rail, an increase of 2.1% year on year.

The amount of goods transported in January-December 2018 was 118.2 million tonnes, up 3% on 2017. Road transport increased by 2.3% to 74 million tonnes, rail transport rose by 10.4% to 13.4 million tonnes, pipeline transport increased by 5.9% to 10.8 million tonnes and internal waterways transport went up by 3% to 592,000 tonnes.

More news about transportation in Croatia can be found in the Business section.

Friday, 1 March 2019

Svilaj Bridge Between Croatia and Bosnia to Be Opened in Autumn

ZAGREB, March 1, 2019 - The Svilaj bridge across the Sava River along the Vc pan-European road corridor, which is being built by Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, is expected to be completed this autumn, Croatian Transport Minister Oleg Butković said at the construction site on Thursday.

Butković said that the 22.3 million euro highway bridge was one of the most important infrastructure projects currently underway in Croatia. The project is financed by Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina in the 50:50 ratio, and the Croatian part is co-financed from EU funds.

"This bridge is of the utmost importance for the two countries and aside from connecting them, it will connect Budapest with (the southern Croatian port of) Ploče, which is what we want," said Butković.

The Croatian Roads road construction and maintenance operator has published a tender for the construction of a highway section to run towards Beli Manastir, close to the border with Hungary, and the bids will be opened in March, said the minister.

Asked why the construction of the 33-kilometre section from Osijek to Beli Manastir was taking so long, he said that the necessary funding had to be secured first.

He said that once the Svilaj bridge was completed and work on the highway to Beli Manastir was finished, which was expected in two years' time, a five-kilometre section towards the Hungarian border, currently being designed, would remain to be built as part of the Croatian section of the Vc corridor.

Bosnia and Herzegovina Deputy Communications and Transport Minister Saša Dalipagić said that the bridge at Svilaj was of huge importance for Bosnia and Herzegovina, notably for people living in the area gravitating towards Svilaj and Odzak. "Our two friendly and neighbouring countries are now connected at this location as well, and that pleases us the most," said Dalipagić.

He admitted that Bosnia and Herzegovina had been late in building its section of the Vc corridor because it had not had the necessary strategic documents, such as a framework transport policy or transport strategy.

He also said that the most important issue, the financing of construction work on the Bosnia and Herzegovina section of the corridor, had not been solved.

Dalipagić would not forecast when the section of the corridor running through Bosnia and Herzegovina could be completed, saying only, "You are aware of the reality in Bosnia and Herzegovina."

The Svilaj bridge is 660 metres long and 18 metres high. Once the bridge is completed, the Croatian section of the Vc corridor will be 59 kilometres long, said Croatian Highways CEO Boris Huzjan.

Work on the bridge started in September 2016. Croatia has built a highway to the bridge while work in Bosnia and Herzegovina on the section from the bridge to Odzak, a municipality in the northeast of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is expected to be completed at the same time as the bridge.

More news on the relations between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina can be found in the Politics section.

Friday, 22 February 2019

Who Could Potential New Majority Owners of Croatia Airlines Be?

Minister Oleg Butković has stated that the company's business has now been stabilised, but who could the potential new majority owners of Croatia Airlines be?

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of February, 2019, Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, said that it was difficult to estimate what the potential ownership ratio could be in relation to the state, as well as with a potential strategic partner for the enfeebled Croatia Airlines.

"It's hard to say that this will be a 50, 60, 70 or 100 percent sale of the ownership of Croatia Airlines, and in any case, there are those who are interested, and international companies are coming and are interested. In that sense, we're waiting for the whole process to begin. Then we'll who will place an offer, who is the most serious, and how this whole situation will go further,'' Butković told HRT.

"It [Croatia Airlines] has transported a record number of passengers last year, and we're insisting that Croatia Airlines remains a Croatian brand, to keep hold of all the routes on which it is currently flying, the acquisition of new aircraft, the modernisation of the new fleet, and the opening up of new routes, that's in function with Croatian tourism and with the whole economy,'' the minister added.

Butković didn't want to talk about any possible solutions for Croatia Airlines for the time being. He believes that the commission which has now been formed must delve much deeper into all the information and operations of Croatia Airlines and see what is, and what isn't a healthy part of that company, or what else can be done from within company in order to boost its function.

Gordan Maras said that Croatia Airlines should find a strategic partner with which the burdened flag carrier would remain a Croatian company.

"We need to find a partner that would work with Croatia Airlines on the level of world-wide destinations, that they're strong and outside of the EU, and not in the situation in which we just end up as their distributor. My position is that we need to find a partner outside the EU in order to develop that destination story," Maras said.

Minister Butković said that Croatia cannot influence exactly where a potential strategic partner will come from.

"Of course, there are certain restrictions as far as EU legislation is concerned, nobody who isn't from the European Union can become the majority owner of Croatia Airlines. There are many things that we have to take into account before the final decision is made,'' he concluded.

Make sure to stay up to date with the unfolding Croatia Airlines situation and much, much more by following our dedicated business page.

Thursday, 21 February 2019

Investment in Croatia: 80 Million Kuna Allocated to Ports

More investment in Croatia and some very welcome news for fishing ports up and down the Croatian coast in several counties as valuable contracts worth a massive eighty million kuna are signed by Oleg Butković, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure.

As Morski writes on the 20th of February, 2019, on Wednesday the 20th of February, Croatia's Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure signed binding agreements and contracts for the allocation of state budget funds for the construction, repair, and reconstruction of various facilities in ports which are open to public traffic, marking a praiseworthy investment in Croatia.

The ports, which are located in seven different coastal Croatian counties are considered to be of importance at both the county and local level, and their upcoming modernisation, reconstruction and construction will take place as part of the construction of fishing infrastructure this year.

The contracts will be signed by the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, and the directors of the port administrations Rabac, Crikvenica, Rab, Bakar-Kraljevica-Kostrena, Novi Vinodolski, Novalja, Senj, Zadar, Korčula and Vela Luka, as well as the port authorities of Šibenik-Knin County, Split-Dalmatia County, and Dalmatia's southernmost county - Dubrovnik-Neretva County.

Through the signing of these contracts and agreements, a huge total of eighty million kuna will be allocated to 25 infrastructure projects in as many as seven Adriatic counties in a massive investment in Croatia and its long and impressive coastline, not only in popular Dalmatia, which relies heavily on ports and their infrastructure.

With the allocation of these state budget funds, the Ministry of Maritime Affairs Transport and Infrastructure is continuing to go forward with its previously started investments in the field of the development and modernisation of port infrastructure on Croatian islands, as well as in coastal [mainland] areas, the competent ministry said in a statement on the matter.

Make sure to stay up to date with everything you need to know about investment in Croatia by following our dedicated lifestyle and business pages. If you've clicked on this article for sailing info, give our Total Croatia Sailing and travel pages a follow.

Page 4 of 9

Search