Wednesday, 16 March 2022

Three Yachts Banned From Leaving Croatian Seaports

ZAGREB, 16 March 2022 - A temporary injunction prohibiting the use and departure of three yachts from Croatian ports has been issued on suspicion that they are connected with persons on the sanctions list released after Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Croatia's Sea Transport and Infrastructure Ministry stated on Wednesday.

The yachts are moored in the marina of Betina, the ACI marina in Skradin, and the port of Rijeka.

The injunction is in compliance with the restrictions adopted by the European Union in response to the Russian military aggression against Ukraine and extended to include certain individuals.

Politics: For more, check out our politics section.

Thursday, 3 March 2022

Former Yacht of Putin's Friend in Rijeka Port, Commenters Say to Burn it

March the 3rd, 2022 - Rijeka Port is currently home to the former yacht of one of Russian President's Vladimir Putin's friends, and news of that hasn't gone down too well on social media, with some commenting that it should be burned.

As Jurica Gaspar/Morski writes, one of the world's most luxurious yachts, the Royal Romance, was owned by Ukrainian lawyer and businessman Viktor Medvedchuk, a man close to Russian President Vladimir Putin. This yacht is far from a stranger to the Croatian coast, quite on the contrary, the captain of the ship is from Croatia. It is currently moored in the Rijeka Port.

Yachts belonging to both Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs closely linked to Vladimir Putin are the target of sanctions across Europe and the rest of the world, and many owners are panicking about where to store their floating wealth. It seems that the angry Ukrainians whose country was attacked also noticed this, and there has been quite a disturbing call on social media for this yacht to be set alight in the Rijeka Port.

"The Royal Romance yacht is in Rijeka!'' ''The boss is a sponsor of the war in Ukraine!'' ''His money is being spent on war and rockets!'' ''The boss is Putin's buddy and now he has fled Ukraine.'' ''This yacht needs to be set on fire!'' were just some of the comments published on the Facebook group "Ukrainians in Croatia", below which are messages of support, and even instructions on how to correctly throw a Molotov cocktail. However, there are also a few more creative comments, such as using the impressive vessel to accommodate refugees from Ukraine or to sell it and direct the money to support the Armed Forces fighting in Ukraine.

Since the message was published on social media and threats were being made towards the vessel in the Rijeka Port where a Croatian crew is taking care of things, the Rijeka police were asked, who were asked if the vessel was under special police protection and whether or not local police have an insight into these or similar threats, but they couldn't answer this over the phone, so same inquiry was then sent in writing.

In the meantime, the captain of the Royal Romance yacht, Bubica Saric, made contact, saying the following:

''The yacht was sold back in March last year and is no longer owned by the aforementioned person, because if it had, it would have been in Monaco, where it was before,'' he said, answering that he can't reveal who the current owner is. He is angry, he added, because of the public name-calling of the yacht in the capacity of the former owner, because that puts his crew in danger.

This ''skyscraper at sea'' was owned by Viktor Medvedchuk, a Ukrainian oligarch and a close friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Superyachtfan provides some interesting information about him, and among other things, it can be learned that Medvedchuk is the founder of a law firm based in Kiev, which is currently under siege. He is also known as one of the members of the so-called ''Kyiv Seven'' group, made up of seven very successful businessmen: Medvedchuk, Valentin Zhursky, Grigory and Igor Surkis, Bohdan Hubsky, Yuri Karpenko and Yuri Lijah, who died in 2004.

The K7 Group's business background began way back in 1992 through offshore companies, which imported oil into Ukraine to sell it internally.

Viktor Medvedchuk is, among other things, a pro-Russian politician who was arrested last year and allegedly escaped from house arrest amid Russian aggression against Ukraine, Ukrainian Interior Ministry adviser Anton Gerashchenko confirmed on Sunday, although Medvedchuk's lawyer denied the allegations.

Medvedchuk, the leader of Ukraine's opposition Platform - For Life, was under house arrest after authorities launched treason proceedings against him, according to Reuters and according to usnews.com. He, of course, rejects such accusations. Medvedchuk's lawyer said that this client was forced to relocate the site due to threats from nationalist groups and informed authorities.

The luxury yacht Royal Romance is a frequent guest of the Rijeka Port, and it can accommodate 14 guests and is cared for by 22 crew members.

The yacht is 93 metres long, 14.3 metres wide, is designed to accommodate 14 guests in seven luxury cabins, and is cared for by as many as 22 crew members. The vessel has a maximum speed of 15 knots, has a draft of 3.85 metres, and the luxury facilities it boasts include teak decks, a gym, elevators connecting a total of five decks and a 12-metre pool with a waterfall on the upper deck.

It is a vessel that is on the list of the 100 best yachts in the world of all time and was built in the Dutch shipyard Feadship, which specialises in the construction of luxury vessels. It is powered by two 3,000-horsepower diesel engines. The yacht is reportedly used exclusively for private purposes and is not so easily rented out unless you're close to the owner or his wealthy elite circle.

For more, check out our lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 9 November 2021

Rijeka Port to Become Largest in Northern Adriatic Sea in Few Years?

November the 9th, 2021 - Rijeka Port signed a very significant contract recently, and it seems that this Northern Adriatic port could become the largest and indeed one of the most important in this part of Europe in a relatively short period of time.

As Poslovni Dnevnik/Suzana Varosanec writes, by signing a 50-year concession agreement for the Rijeka Gateway, APM Terminals and ENNA have formally entered the project of designing, building and operating a new container terminal in Rijeka Port, ENNA said, stating that it is a joint investment of two companies on the Croatian side of the Northern Adriatic.

The estimated value of the concession on the 400-metre coastline stands at about 20.5 billion kuna, and the concessionaire's obligation in the first two years is to realise a container turnover of two million TEU units (equivalent to a twenty-foot container).

Two million kuna is a permanent part of the concession fee, a variable part of 4 or 6 percent of the gross annual revenue of the terminal, and the concessionaire will need to procure and install equipment at the terminal, and in the second phase build an extension of another 280 metres of coastal wall.

The third phase is optional, ie if all of the necessary conditions are met, another 320 metres of coastal wall will be built. The new terminal will be equipped with three ship-shore cranes, and at the end of the second phase with a total of four cranes, currently the largest available on the market, and the Rijeka Gateway will therefore be able to accommodate vessels up to 24,000 TEU.

The total investment is estimated at around 250 million euros, or in the first phase at around 100 million euros. The concessionaire is their joint company: Rijeka Gateway d.o.o. based in Vukovar. It was established by a partnership agreement with 51 and 49 percent membership shares by members of the consortium APM Terminals and ENNA Logic, a component of the wider ENNA Group, which is one of the fastest growing Croatian companies at this moment in time.

The offer of this consortium was selected back in June at an international public tender, while the conclusion of the concession agreement starts the realisation of the project, which means the long-awaited upcoming, rapid development of the Rijeka traffic route.

This means the expansion of intermodal transport, new direct employment - in the first phase about 400 jobs with more to come, concluding with the goal of positioning Rijeka Port on the logistics map.

According to the director of Rijeka Port, Denis Vukorepa, the co-signatory of the contract by the concession grantor, on January the 1st, 2024 the terminal will be operational, and after the completion of the second phase of the ''Zagreb coast'' project, including the activities of Jadranska vrata, Rijeka Port will be the largest container port in the Northern Adriatic with about 1.5 million TEU units (500,000 TEU refers to the Adriatic Gate).

The total turnover of Rijeka Port in 2021 will be, he says, at about 360,000 TEU, or about 5 percent when compared to 2020.

For APM terminals, the world container shipping company A.P. Moller - Maersk, which operates about 80 terminals in the world, the development of a new terminal in Rijeka is in line with their strategy "Safer, better, bigger". According to Morten Engelstoft, CEO of APM Terminals, the investor recognised the growing need for efficient, well-managed and modern terminals that serve as entry points to local and regional markets, bringing container goods closer to end consumers.

Therefore, they're convinced that the Rijeka Gateway, with a good location in Rijeka and a strong connection with the hinterland, will become an important point on the map of port logistics in Croatia, but also in the wider Central European region.

The same belief is shared by Pavao Vujnovac, President of the Management Board of ENNA Group, who believes that this joint investment project in the Zagreb coast (the Rijeka Gateway) will become the basis for growth and sustainability of port operations and logistics sector for Rijeka and the Republic of Croatia as a whole.

According to Vujnovac, the Rijeka Gateway and modernisation of railway infrastructure is the largest Croatian national project that will connect Rijeka Port with continental Croatia and other Central European countries, facilitating business opportunities and rapid economic growth not only in logistics but in all services and industries.

According to PM Andrej Plenkovic, this concession agreement creates the preconditions for Rijeka to take a leading role in cargo transhipment in the Northern Adriatic and become the most important sea exit for Central and Southeast Europe.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated business section.

Monday, 4 October 2021

Minister: We Want Rijeka to Become the Strongest Port in This Part of the Adriatic

RIJEKA, 4 Oct 2021 - Transport Minister Oleg Butković said on Monday that Rijeka would be one of the cities that could boast the good road and rail infrastructure and that efforts were being invested in making Rijeka the strongest port in this part of the Adriatic.

After meeting with Rijeka Mayor Marko Filipović, Minister Butković said that the meeting was constructive and that large-scale projects in Rijeka and in the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County were progressing well.

He announced a tender for a double-track railway line running through Rijeka, a €330 million project, which would be advertised in 2022.

"That project will complete the D 404 road, which connects the eastern part of Rijeka port with the city ring road and D 403. It then connects the Zagrebačka Obala container terminal with the ring road and future road from the Zagrebačka Obala terminal to Žabice. It will close the ring road around Rijeka as far as road infrastructure is concerned and Rijeka will be one of the few cities to have resolved its road and rail infrastructure, that is, all of its problems," he underscored.

The officials discussed the construction of the new bus station in Rijeka and Butković said that the funds for that purpose had been ensured.

The minister and the mayor also discussed the construction of several road junctions, roundabouts, and how preparations and financing for the projects were going on.

Butković informed that currently about HRK 25 billion was being invested in transport infrastructure throughout Croatia.

For more on politics, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Thursday, 10 June 2021

Two Million TEU Handled by Adriatic Gate Container Terminal in Last 10 Years

ZAGREB, 10 June 2021 - The Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT) handled two million twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) at the Brajdica Terminal in Rijeka in the last ten years since it became a member of the International Container Terminal Services, Inc., the AGCT reported on Thursday.

The Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (or the Jadranska Vrata in the Croatian language) recalls that in April 2011, the International Container Terminal Services (ICTSI) became the majority owner in this Croatian company specialized in operating container cargo.

The results in the last ten years have proved the success of the public-private partnership with the Port of Rijeka, the Port of Rijeka Authority, and the Croatian government, the AGCT says.

The AGCT executive director Emmanuel Papagiannakis was quoted as saying that the handling of two million TEU in ten years was an extraordinary success for the company.

In the last decade, more than 50 million dollars were invested in the upgrade of the company.

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 29 January 2021

Rijeka Port Becomes Reserve Option in Global Shortage of Shipping Containers

January the 29th, 2021 -  In addition to majorly affecting human health and causing untold issues for healthcare systems worldwide, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has also brought the global economy to its knees. Rijeka Port, however, has become a reserve option for a very important economic role.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, despite the slowdown in global supply chains and the subsequent global recession, customers ordered products online in record quantities. Chinese manufacturers had to work overtime to deliver all of those orders, and all of that someone had to deliver them all to customers.

That's where the problem arose, and Rijeka Port might well be part of the solution as we battle through the ongoing pandemic.

As Zoran Starcevic, director of cargo-partner, one of the largest logistics companies in Croatia, explains, something unprecedented and extremely interesting has happened when it comes to the system of global economy and consumption.

“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, people stopped travelling. They stayed at home with limited mobility available. This situation has created an unexpected desire to purchase products online such as office equipment and home furniture, laptops, sports exercise equipment at home, garden furniture, etc. All these goods are usually transported by sea in shipping containers, from Chinese factories with delivery to the door of the customer,'' Starcevic points out.

After the start of the pandemic, factories in China remained closed for two months, which actually triggered a chain of problems. The ordered goods failed to arrive to buyers in Europe, so Europeans did the only thing they could - they ordered products online like never before. They couldn't spend much, if anything on travel, outings and the like because they were forced to stay indoors.

"It was to be expected that the decline in production in China would affect the whole world, this was as a result of the halted production chain in the first months of the pandemic in 2020, which is due to the reduction of production in the countries that imported raw materials from China. On the other hand, many sea carriers reduced the dynamics of their departures due to reduced demand and capacity. The unfavourable export-import ratio, after the resumption of production, led to a significant imbalance in the availability of transport equipment, so a situation arose in which Chinese ports are simply faced with a shortage of empty containers,'' he explained

During the festive period, the import of shipments from the Far East increased. Planning in that regard is done carefully, keeping the Chinese New Year in mind as well. After the rapid re-start of the economy in many countries, trying to compensate for months of stagnation, many companies decided to boost import capacities. In practice, the increased demand for imports has resulted in the rapid filling up of shipping capacity and an imbalance in the disposal of shipping equipment.

This actually means that it takes some time for containers leaving from European ports to physically return to China, in order to be operational again. For these reasons, as well as the break that follows the Chinese New Year, and with maritime transport being the most economically viable option, things are technically overbooked until March next year, according to cargo-partner.

It is important to mention that shipowners did not order the construction of new containers because all parameters before the coronavirus pandemic indicated that global trade would go into recession, and as they had liquidity problems, they began to cut costs.

Then the coronavirus appeared all over the world.

Shipping companies found themselves in a very awkward situation as demand and the nature of freight transport by sea went in an unexpected direction. Carriers cancelled individual weekly departures from Europe to Asia throughout the year. Therefore, there are currently not enough boats on the market to rent because the global merchant fleet is suddenly filled with great demand, so "plugs" are forming at almost all traffic hubs. Most ships and containers were sent to the United States due to the highest demand. When such a ship docks in a port in the USA, the container is unloaded, but the service of a local freight forwarder and truck carrier can take up to 10 days, then it takes another 7 days to deliver the goods, and maybe another 10 days to return the container to the terminal. Only then is the container ready to re-board and return to Asia.

One example is the congestion of the port of Los Angeles which is working at maximum capacity. Currently, the situation is such that 15 ships are waiting anchored in front of the port, and the containers can neither be unloaded nor loaded for return. Shipowners always choose the longest routes to the largest ports because that way they can easily maximise their earnings.

cargo-partner offers its customers in the EU a faster solution - Adria Priority Express premium service for container transport via Rijeka Port as one of the Adriatic ports. Transit time from the main ports from the Far East to the main ports of the Adriatic is 5-8 days faster than the ports of the North Seas. Thanks to the various options with selected carriers, cargo-partner provides free equipment and guarantees safer departure and delivery time. It also offers a comprehensive logistics service that includes warehousing, truck services, container tracking through their intelligent container tracking system and many other benefits, they stated from cargo-partner company in reference to Rijeka Port's new reserve status.

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Sunday, 8 November 2020

Rail Transport Jumps by 5.3 Percent, Rijeka Port Leads

As Novac/Kresimir Zabec writes on the 7th of November, 2020, the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has diverted both the flow and mode of freight transport within Europe as a whole, but also from China to Europe. Before the pandemic struck the world, goods were mostly transported by air and road, but now everything is changing and the movement of goods has been redirected to a greater extent to rail and sea transport. Rijeka Port is doing well out of it.

Container transport by rail between China and Europe has greatly increased when compared to last year. Recently, the New Silk Road has also been used to transport goods from the Far East. 40-foot-tall DRY freight containers are used to transport general cargo. This mostly regards various types of machinery, electronic components, metal and plastic products and the like. According to the Central Bureau of Statistics, in the first six months of this year, rail freight transport in Croatia increased by 5.3 percent compared to last year, with Rijeka Port establishing itself high on the ''ladder''.

Most of the goods have been and are currently being transported from the busy Rijeka Port, which is excellent news for this Northern Adriatic city which already boasts a rich and complex industrial past.

"Rail freight is an excellent and reliable solution in terms of costs and transit time. Goods from China reach the European centres of Warsaw, Dunajska Streda and Budapest in an average of two weeks, and to Croatia, they arrive in 18 to 22 days," explained Zoran Starcevic, the director of one of the leading freight forwarders in the Republuc of Croatia, Cargo-partner doo.

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Saturday, 26 September 2020

VIDEO: New BMW M3 Leaves Old Metropolis Warehouses in Rijeka Port!

September 26, 2020 - The new BMW M3 leaves the old Metropolis warehouses in Rijeka Port, which shows that the old abandoned factory buildings and halls in Croatia are an increasingly popular location for shooting promo films from international companies, reports Jutarnji.hr.

The island of Pag, with its unique landscapes through which the state road D106 passes, has, in the last ten years, turned into an unavoidable location and a perfect backdrop for shooting countless new car models. Manufacturers such as Mercedes, Porsche, Bentley, BMW, Honda, or Lexus shot many new models on the longest Croatian island, but not only Pag is all that Croatia has to offer.

The Adriatic Highway and, for example, the Road Majstorska on Velebit are increasingly popular places for recording promotional material not only for cars but also for motorcycles, such as the new Ducati Multistrada. We should not forget the inevitable Dubrovnik and its surroundings, Zadar or Rijeka, which was already a frequent choice of filmmakers: a redesigned version of the previous generation Skoda Octavia and Honda NSX were shot at locations in the Croatian port city.

However, the trends are obviously changing, so the old abandoned factory buildings and halls in Croatia are becoming increasingly popular as locations for shooting promotional films of premium international manufacturers.

As a reminder, photos and video for the new BMW X2 three years ago toured the world from the old Croatian aluminum factory in Lozovac and the surrounding roads of the Sibenik hinterland. Now a similar location has been chosen by BMW's M department to shoot a promo film for the new M3: the Port of Rijeka, and the rush between warehouses was filmed at the Metropolis complex, specifically at Orlando Pier and Budapest Pier.

The "Metropolis" complex is a protected cultural asset within the port area from the beginning of the 20th century, a unique historical complex of five port warehouses that line two rows along the seashore. It was built in the historicist style with decorations of the Hungarian Art Nouveau, which makes them unique globally, and this location should be converted into a Science and Technology Park in the future. Interestingly, Mercedes chose the same location last year to shoot a promo film for the electric model EQC. We can freely conclude that now even the most controversial BMW M3 ever leaves the world from the old port warehouses of Rijeka.

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Friday, 4 September 2020

Agreement Signed to Upgrade Rijeka Port Infrastructure

ZAGREB, September 4, 2020 - An agreement for the performance of work under the project "Upgrade of the Rijeka Port Infrastructure - Rijeka Basin" was signed in the northern Adriatic city on Friday.

The agreement is worth HRK 268 million, of which 85% will be co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility. It was signed by the chairman of the Port of Rijeka management board, Dusko Grabovac, and the CEO of the Kolektor Koling company, Tine Vadnal.

The agreement provides for the reconstruction of 109,420 square metres of road surface, 12,161 metres of railway and 1,625 metres of crane track. The work is expected to be completed by the end of 2022.

The director of the Port Authority, Denis Vukorepa, said that seven projects, worth a total of €132.8 million, had been launched in the past year for the reconstruction and modernisation of the port, adding that the projects were co-financed by the Connecting Europe Facility. He said that documentation was being prepared for new projects in the 2021-2027 period.

Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butkovic, said that the project showed the importance of EU funding, noting that without co-financing from EU funds it would not be possible to increase the competitiveness and strengthen the port of Rijeka. He said that it was important to properly prepare and implement the projects that would be financed from the fund in which €22 billion has been set aside for Croatia. "It will be the biggest test for this government," the minister said.

 

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Monday, 10 February 2020

Rijeka Environmental Group Installs Sea 'Trash Can' At Croatian Port

The first Seabin device, a floating “trash can” and seawater filter, was installed on Friday in the passenger port of Rijeka.

Rijeka Based Initiative S.E.A. Donated Seabin Device

The Rijeka-based Initiative S.E.A. (Save, Embrace, Achieve) donated the Seabin device to the Port Authority of Rijeka to raise awareness about the need to protect and conserve the marine environment. The initiative also introduces sustainable solutions for the use and management of marine life as one of its most valuable resources.

Seabin is a floating trash can which constantly filters seawater, collecting plastics, microplastics, detergents, oils and other materials from the surface, preventing them from drifting off to the open sea and harming marine flora and fauna, according to Morski HR on February 10, 2020.

“The initiative was founded to primarily to raise awareness about the need to change environmental attitudes, especially in our oceans, and to foster further debate on the ‘green transition’ which is beginning to take hold in response to the global environmental crisis. The focus of the initiative is to dispose of plastics and micro plastics. It also promotes implementing the most advanced green methods, practices and technologies for better environmental management and utilization of its resources,” they explained.

Seabin Acts as Floating ‘Trash Can’ in Marinas, Yacht Clubs, Ports

According to their website, the Seabin V5 unit is a ‘trash skimmer’ designed to be installed in water at marinas, yacht clubs, ports and any body of water with a calm environment and available suitable services.

The unit acts as a floating trash can which skims the water surface by pumping water into the device. The Seabin V5 can intercept floating debris, macro and micro plastics and microfibers with an additional filter. By acting as a trash skimmer, the Seabin V5 is also able to clean the water from contaminated organic material including leaves and seaweed.

The Seabin V5 can be equipped with oil absorbent pads that absorb petroleum-based surface oils and detergent which is predominant in most marinas worldwide.

Surface Water Passes Through Catch Bag At 25,000 Liters Per Hour

Water is sucked in from the surface where it passes through a catch bag inside Seabin. The device is equipped with submersible water pump capable of displacing 25,000 liters per hour and can be plugged directly into either a 110V or 220V outlet. The water is then pumped back into the marina leaving litter and debris trapped in the catch bag.

The Seabin V5 can catch an estimated 3.9 kilograms of floating debris per day or 1.4 tons per year (depending on weather and debris volumes) including micro plastics as small as 2 millimeters.

Follow our Lifestyle page for more information on environmental initiatives in Croatia. More information about the Seabin V5 can be found on their website and Facebook page.

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