Friday, 24 June 2022

Port of Rijeka: Requests for Ukraine Grain Transshipment Trice Higher than Capacity

ZAGREB, 24 June 2022 - The Port of Rijeka is receiving inquiries about its possibilities for the transshipment of Ukrainian grain, blocked currently in silos in Black Sea ports due to the war, however, the port's limited capacities make it impossible to grant all the requests, says the Rijeka port's management chair.

The management boar's chairman Duško Grabovac has recently told Hina that "the pressure is mounting".

A new harvest is to start, and their silos (in Ukraine) are full, Grabovac told the Croatian reporters during a recent business forum within the Three Seas Initiative summit meeting in the Latvian capital city of Riga.

In 2019, Ukraine exported 16% of the global reserves of maize and 42% of sunflower oil, according to the data provided by the United Nations.

Over the recent weeks, traders are seeking alternative routes for the transport of grain from Ukraine and the Port of Rijeka is therefore is receiving more and more requests.

Grabovac said that the capacity of the silo in this northern Croatian seaport is 55,000 tonnes.

Therefore it is difficult to meet all the requests, he explains.

For more, check out our business section.

Thursday, 18 June 2020

VIDEO: Huge Cash Sum for Development of Rijeka Port and More

As Morski writes on the 17th of June, 2020, on Thursday, June the 1th, the Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, will participate in the signing of two extremely important contracts worth a massive 554 million kuna in total, which are co-financed by European Union (EU) grants, and which are extremely important for the development of the busy Rijeka Port.

These are contracts for the execution of works on the DC403 state road from the Škurinje junction to Rijeka Port and contracts for the execution of the works on deepening the seabed at the Jadranska vrata (Adriatic gate) terminal.

The first contract will be signed by the President of the Management Board of Croatian roads (Hrvatske ceste), as a representative of the investor, together with the selected Association of Bidders consisting of the companies Kolektor CPG, GP Krk and Euro-asfalt. The value of this contract stands at 456.36 million kuna in total.

The DC403 state road, which will run from the Škurinje junction on the Rijeka bypass to the new container terminal along the coast to Rijeka Port is 2977 metres long, with 380 metres of access roads accompanying it. On that road lie the Podmurvice tunnel (1.2 kilometres long), the Piopi viaduct (316 metres long), the Mlaka viaduct (144 metres long) and the underpass, which is 56 metres in length.

After the signing of this contract, the ceremony will continue with the signing of the contract for the works within a project entitled "The improvement of infrastructure of Rijeka Port - the deepening of the southern connection AGCT (POR2CORE-AGCT Dredging)", which is also co-financed through European Union funds. This contract, worth a total of 97.7 million kuna, will be signed by the Rijeka Port Authority's director and a member of the Management Board of NUOVA CO.ED.MAR S.r.l.

For more on infrastructure projects across the Republic of Croatia, as well as the use of EU funds, follow our business page.

Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Port of Rijeka to Become Largest Container Port in Northern Adriatic?

The Port of Rijeka was once booming with industry, as was the ''city that flows'' itself, but as times changed, so did the port and its purposes and capabilities. Over the last 100 years, Rijeka has ''changed hands'' and been in many different countries, it has seen the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, monarchy and much more, and the Port of Rijeka has taken the brunt of every fall.

Could this large port located on the Kvarner Gulf, the very first written records of which date way back to the year 1281, become the largest container port in the entire Northern Adriatic area? That's the aim.

As Morski writes on the 10th of December, 2019, the main goal for the Port of Rijeka during the period between 2025 and 2027 is to become the largest container port in the North Adriatic.

This was stated at the pre-Christmas gathering of the leading people working at the Port of Rijeka Authority with their concessionaires, contractors and various other business associates.

Director Denis Vukorepa has shown investments in Rijeka's port pool in slideshows amounting to more than 600 million euros, Radio Rijeka reported.

A lot has been invested in the formerly busy Port of Rijeka, said Vukorepa, adding that that is why they have arranged the port of Bršica so that the loading on of timber and other stock can be completed at an even faster rate. The concession of Zagrebačka obala is yet to come. The concession will last thirty years if the concessionaire doesn't request an extension to that allocated time period, and if he does want that, then he will get a concession for fifty years.

Works at Brajdica are set to follow, and this is part of the investment in port infrastructure and buildings, proper arrangement is also awaited by the Port of Bakar. It is expected that as many as forty parge passenger cruisers will come to visit the Port of Rijeka next year, when the city is the European Capital of Culture for 2020.

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

Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Large Cruise Ships Can Now Comfortably Dock in Rijeka Port

As Morski writes on the 30th of October, 2019, the Port of Rijeka's authority has installed new floating pontoons for the reception of large cruise ships, so that some of the world's largest cruisers are now able to enter and dock on the Rijeka breakwater when visiting the city which is soon to become the European Capital of Culture.

Two new floating pontoons measuring nine times six and a half metres will now allow for the reception of very large cruisers and merchant ships of up to 295 metres in length. The investment which has now enabled the Port of Rijeka to be able to accept much larger vessels, such as passenger cruisers which are often seen docking in Croatian ports stands at two million kuna, according to a report from HRT.

Year after year, the number of cruisers arriving not only in Croatia as a whole, but more specifically in the Northern Adriatic and in the City of Rijeka is growing. Despite complaints about how these giant ships negatively affect the environment and pollute not only the air but the sea, some brand new floating pontoons are in the pipeline for the upcoming season in Rijeka, with about forty cruisers carrying 74,000 passengers already announced.

The move is even more important as 2020 is the year when Rijeka becomes the European Capital of Culture and is likely to experience greater publicity and as such an even stronger tourism boom because of that.

The newly installed pontoons will provide much the Port of Rijeka much needed additional capacity to be able to safely and securely accommodate large cruisers. The city's port authority is also in the process of building a brand new southern berth for vessels that will cost around thirty million euros in total. The money will be provided to Rijeka from European Union (EU) funds.

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

Tuesday, 24 September 2019

Port of Rijeka Placed Among Top 100 Container Ports in World

As Morski writes on the 24th of September, 2019, the Port of Rijeka has been listed as one of the top 100 ports in the LSCI (Liner shipping connectivity index) this year, published since 2006 by UNCTAD.

The index refers primarily to container traffic and is calculated annually, for almost one thousand world ports, based on their connection with shipping lines with other world ports, the efficiency of cargo handling and other parameters.

The LSCI index is one of the benchmarks not only for connectivity but also for the efficiency of container ports, so this listing is among the top 100 in the world not only for the existing container terminal in Brajdica, which is under the management of the Adriatic Gate (Jadranska Vrata), majority owned by the Philippine ICTSI, which has recorded a constant double-digit increase in traffic in percentages in recent years, but also for the prospect of a newly built container terminal.

The best-rated port as calculated by UNCTAD this year is China's Shanghai, with an index of 134.32, followed by Pusan ​​in South Korea, China's Ningbo, and the port in Hong Kong.

In the top ten ports in the world according to the LSCI index, only two are European ports - as expected, Antwerp ranked 6th with an index of 93.73 and Rotterdam ranked 7th with an index of 92.75.

For comparison (if there can be comparisons made between these ports and Rijeka at all, given the scale of container traffic), the Rijeka index is 35.21, which is nearly three times lower than the best-ranked European ports, but it should be noted that in the thirteen years since the publication of UNCTAD's list of best-connected ports, the LSCI index for Rijeka has increased by 3.5 times, from an initial 9.98 2006, to the current 35.21, which is in line with the growth of container traffic over the last decade in the ports of the Northern Adriatic in general, as well as in Rijeka.

Otherwise, from the container ports located in the Northern Adriatic, among the top 100 in terms of connectivity are Koper (Slovenia) and Trieste (Italy), with the Slovenian port ranked 80th in the world, with an index of 36.74, and the Italian port ranked in 84th place, just two places ahead of the Port of Rijeka, with an index of 35.54.

Since the beginning of the publication of this index back in 2006, in terms of connectivity index, all three ports have advanced significantly, Koper was still the best placed, at 168th place, while the ports of Rijeka and Trieste were below 200th place.

The current difference in position of just a few places shows that the connectivity of all three Northern Adriatic ports has more or less equalised. It should be noted, however, that both of the aforementioned foreign ports are far ahead of the Port of Rijeka in terms of container traffic. Last year, Koper recorded a figure of 988 thousand TEUs, which is obviously close to one million, Trieste had 625 thousand TEUs, while the "dial" at Rijeka's Brajdica stood at 227 thousand TEUs, Novi list writes.

Make sure to follow our dedicated lifestyle page for much more.

Thursday, 23 May 2019

A Return to Old Glory for the Port of Rijeka? Potentially...

As Suzana Varosanec/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 23rd of May, 2019, investors have recognised the potential, which for the Port of Rijeka, means a step forward to the leading container-logistics centre in the Northern Adriatic.

With new investments, Rijeka is being returned to the former position that it once enjoyed at the tail end of the 1970's, when it was a large and significant port centre. Those have been the type of messages sent to the director of the Rijeka Port Authority, Denis Vukorepa, on the occasion of the completion of the Zagreb Deep Sea Container Terminal (Zagreb DSCT) project in the Port of Rijeka.

There has been a great level of interest from potential concessionaires, including as many as seven of the world's largest operators from Europe, the Middle East and the Far East. Officially, the Chinese, and also the CRBC which is currently building Pelješac Bridge, have made themselves known.

The Minister of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Oleg Butković, will also visit the terminal at which the works are taking place today. To briefly recall, the most important capital project in the Rijeka Gateway Project II, worth 112.5 million euros, of which 84 million euro is from a World Bank loan, while 28.5 million euros is financed by the state. However, in addition to those amounts, the Rijeka Port Administration has continued to invest 40-50 million euros in its own investments.

When this part is completed, individual talks are expected in June and July when potential concessionaires will present their respective terminal management concepts.

It's certainly not excluded that the interest for the second phase of the construction of the terminal will gain traction, and for which permits have been prepared. The expected term for the signing of a contract currently stands at the end of September.

Traffic in the Rijeka basin in the container area has increased by about ten percent over more recent years, but a more dynamic growth in freight volumes and cargo flow is expected, which is the subject of interest for rail freight operators, and is expected to attract a larger volume of truck traffic.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for much more.


Click here for the original article by Suzana Varosanec for Poslovni Dnevnik

Saturday, 13 April 2019

Why Do The Chinese Really Want To Invest So Heavily In Croatia?

From the construction of Pelješac bridge to planning to build a car factory in southern Dalmatia's Neretva valley, to displaying interest in potentially rescuing the enfeebled Croatian shipyards Uljanik and 3 Maj, the Chinese are no strangers to showcasing their investment interest in Croatia.

Croatia has earned itself a less than positive reputation among foreign investors, alright, let's not be so politially correct and say that Croatia is a burning hot mess in the eyes of foreign investors. ABC has come to mean ''Anything but Croatia'' in foreign investment circles, and many are simply bypassing the country entirely. That's not to talk about local, Croatian investors who have been dragged through the proverbial mud twice or even thrice the amount. Given the somewhat depressing statistics, just why are the Chinese suddenly so deeply interested in investing such huge sums of money in Croatia?

While many have welcomed the money-laden offers of the Chinese, others have remained cautiously optimistic, and some have made no qualms about being vocal in their dismay at the thought of the Chinese coming and ''taking over'' by investing heavily in Croatia's many pressing strategic projects. The motives that push the Chinese towards closer and closer ties with Croatia tend to end up as mere hearsay and solacious gossip in the comment sections of various portals, but what do the experts believe?

As Novac/Marina Karlovic Sabolic writes on the 12th of April, 2019, the Chinese are truly incredible people. They come to Croatia every ten years, and the Croats immediately forget about all of the Chinese "bofl" goods they've spent their lives purchasing and throwing away. They suddenly become blissfully unaware of the dreaded "Made in China" mark that everyone gets so sick to the back teeth of seeing plastered all over basically anything. Instead, their innermost desires display blurry images of an ailing Uljanik, of Tito's rotting memorial complex in Kumrovec, of Rijeka's port, and even football stadiums, Slobodna Dalmacija writes.

Does anybody bother to ask in this country what the Chinese will ask for in return, however? Entering into the dubious and somewhat unpredictable world of Croatian shipbuilding, constructing a much needed railway line and maybe rescuing a port in Rijeka all before dinner time will come with a price tag, and likely a hefty one. The situation when that bill inevitably arrives is one that tends to be what fills the militant online naysayers with fuel, and dread.

''Don't be afraid, China will not demand that the Communist Party be established in Croatia or that it rules the country,'' prof. Dr. Vlatko Cvrtila, one of the most prominent Croatian geopolitical experts, stated. He also added that in its long-term strategic plans, China really doesn't have any sort of idea of ​​introducing a single-party system in the countries in which it invests its money. Their interest, claims Cvrtila, is of quite another nature.

''The Chinese don't invest because they have a lot of money and they want to go around giving it out. There's no philanthropy in international relations. All they invest in is related to their global strategy of creating influence and linking the Eurasian world in a continental way. By investing in infrastructure, ports, roads and railways, they enable their goods to reach their customers more easily,'' says Cvrtila.

Such an approach, he points out, is legitimate for a country that has boasts such great economic potential at this time like China does. Their mega-project, the Silk Road, which would increase the possibility of land transport, aims to reduce overall dependence on maritime traffic restrictions.

Cvrtila notes the US administration's estimates and warnings that China will one day turn its massive economic influence into strategic power as well. This is something that United States, which is already competing with Russia, doesn't think well of. However, China is now quietly placing all of its cards on the economic side of the story.

''In order to maintain its economic growth, China must have a market. In infrastructure projects, they actually make the market more widespread. China can't stop, while it's riding the bike it needs to rotate the pedals. The Chinese are present everywhere where they can create prerequisites for the distribution of goods. In Greece, they're in the ports, in Montenegro, they're dealing with the construction of a motorway, in Croatia, they're building Pelješac bridge. This is a win win situation for everyone, because in the long run, any investment in infrastructure can improve a country's economic performance,'' says Cvrtila.

China has, therefore, created the 1 + 16 formet in Southeastern Europe where its usually large-scale investments help countries that otherwise don't have a lot of foreign investment.

''Europe has survived a difficult financial crisis and there is no "free finance" which would enter JI Europe. China's investment is actually beneficial for Europe, because along with China, the European Union has developed non-competitive but increasingly strategic economic relations, realising in time that they [the Chinese] can contribute to its economic growth,'' emphasises Cvrtila.

Croatia, according to him, is fortunate because it is strategically quite well positioned: it is closer to the heart of Europe than it is to Northern Europe. And, de facto, it is located at the intersection of the roads between the East and the West.

Unfortunately, Croatia hasn't used its geostrategic advantage yet. LNG terminal stands, as do the new train lines. It's also important to revitalise the Port of Rijeka so that Croatia can profit in the fast transport of goods to European consumers. We don't have our own investments, Europe has no capacity anymore, which is why the Croatian Government is seriously considering deals from China,'' concludes Cvrtila.

Therefore, there's no need for Croatia to be afraid of the Chinese, but rather actually use them for its own interests.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more information on Chinese-Croatian relations, Chinese business plans in Croatia, and much, much more.


Click here for the original article by Marina Karlovic Sabolic for Novac/Jutarnji

Tuesday, 9 April 2019

From Dalmatia to Karlovac and Rijeka, Chinese Eye Up Croatia

As Gordana Grgas/Novac writes on the 8th of April, 2019, if there was a European tender held solely to attract Chinese investment, the champion would certainly be Great Britain, followed by Germany, and then immediately by Italy and France. Croatia might not be anywhere near the top of China's European ''wish list'', but despite that, the Chinese interest just keeps on coming...

The countries which make up Central and Eastern Europe are low on the aforementioned European scale, even though with China, at least since the year 2012, they have enjoyed a special relationship through the China + 16 initiative, which, as a parallel diplomatic format, tends to irritate the larger, more powerful members of the European Union, as well as the European Commission itself. One of lowest on the list is Hungary with its Eurosceptic government led by Viktor Orban, and Croatia is at the very bottom, but the desire is to alter that.

This week, there is an official visit by Chinese Premier Li Keqianga to Croatia, and the eighth summit of sixteen countries of Central and Eastern Europe with China down in Dalmatia's southernmost city of Dubrovnik, and it might be the easiest thing to look at it all as part of a political show that could act as bait for investment. Whether or not this investment will really happen and what shape that might take, whether it will be done mainly through private projects, for example in tourism, or through major state projects in the rail and port sector, is not yet clear at all.

Croatia will sign nine general memoranda with China in the areas of trade, investment, agriculture, transport, science, technology and innovation, education, sport and tourism, and the most convenient customs administration protocol that will enable the export of Croatian dairy products, which are greatly loved in China. Croatia also intends to join the Asian development investment and infrastructure bank headquartered in Beijing, how much that will cost Croatia however, is not yet known.

How large European countries cooperate with China was demonstrated just ten days ago by the Italians and the French. For the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Rome signed 20 agreements (and joined One Band, a one way system that connects China with the rest of Asia, Europe and Africa, and expands its trade and influence). In Paris, 15 such agreements were signed, where either contracted or announced transactions amounting to billions of euros were dealt with, covering a wide range of areas - from exports of Sicilian red oranges and French frozen chicken to the opening of Italian ports for Chinese investors, sales of 300 Airbus aircraft, energy projects, shipbuilding, etc.

After the construction of Croatia's much anticipated Pelješac bridge, which is funded primarily by European Union money, Croatia hopes for more Chinese investments in national transport projects. This regards the port of Rijeka and the entire Rijeka traffic route, including the line from Rijeka to Karlovac, as well as projects such as airports.

According to data which takes the whole of Europe into account, during the period from 2000 to 2018, almost 47 billion euros of direct investment from China was invested in Britain, Germany saw 22 billion euros, Italy saw 15.3 billion euros, and France saw 14.3 billion euros. Hungary saw a significantly smaller figure of 2.4 billion euros from the Chinese, Poland saw even less with 1.4 billion euros, Romania saw 900 million euros, and Croatia saw just 300 million euros. A stark contrast to the United Kingdom, which is by far one of Europe's most powerful nations.

In the region, the intensity is getting stronger, and in neighbouring Serbia, Chinese loans have come in handy when building transport infrastructure and energy projects and, but that medal, like any other, has two sides, and the takeover of companies hasn't always been met with welcome arms by the Serbs.

The aforementioned data report shows that the culmination of Chinese investment in the EU was reached back in 2016, largely through the take over of companies, and over the last two years, it has fallen, which is attributed to more stringent rules implemented by some EU member states, as well as increased capital controls conducted by Beijing.

For Zagreb, it was a bit uncomfortable to get closer to Communist China in the above mentioned period, as the common policy of overseeing and limiting the Chinese penetration of the ''Old Continent'', especially in strategic and technologically sensitive areas, was being undermined. That chapter however, appears to be well and truly over in Croatia's eyes.

While large investments and projects are anxiously anticipated here in Croatia (and the Chinese interest in Rijeka and the Rijeka-Karlovac line is at least nine years old), data on trade relations show that there is a deficit. State Secretary Nataša Mikuš Žigman notes that there has been a noticeable increase in the volume of trade between Croatia and China, but imports are growing more than exports are. Last year, exports of goods amounted to 133.4 million euros, an increase of 19 percent when compared to 2017, while imports amounted to 803 million euros, an increase of 15.6 percent.

Croatian companies might be able to export more to China in the future, and the business forum being held in Dubrovnik is an excellent chance to showcase some innovative Croatian export ideas, but for now, the main export products continue to be raw or semi-finished products such as stone, leather, untreated wood and polymers, while when it comes to imports, we can see the reign of traditional Chinese consumer goods, white electronics and telecommunications equipment, as well as a constantly increasing number of Chinese tourists visiting Croatia, too.

As the Chinese continue to ramp up their business in Croatia, from Pelješac bridge to Rijeka's port, more announcements continue to appear, and just recently we reported on the Chinese plan to open up a car factory tucked away among the citrus trees of southern Dalmatia's fertile Neretva valley, more precisely in the Nova sela business zone near Kula Norinska in Dubrovnik-Neretva County. While many remain concerned about Chinese influence in Croatia, many others are much more occupied and lured by the promise of an economic boost and employment opportunities.

Make sure to follow our dedicated business page for more information on China-Croatia relations and much more.


Click here for the original article by Gordana Grgas for Novac/Jutarnji

Friday, 8 June 2018

Chinese Investors Interested in Ports of Zadar and Rijeka

ZAGREB, June 8, 2018 - Croatia is interested in introducing a direct airline route to China while the Chinese side, aside from the Pelješac Bridge, is interested in the ports of Zadar and Rijeka, a state secretary at the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, Transport and Infrastructure, Tomislav Mihotić, said in an interview with Hina.

Thursday, 19 April 2018

New Development Projects for Rijeka Port

ZAGREB, April 19, 2018 - The signing of agreements for development projects in the port of Rijeka on Thursday marked the beginning of a new investment cycle in the port area. The total value of the projects is 37.6 million euro.

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