The Group Luka Koper, one of the fastest growing ports in the Adriatic Sea, and Dutch-based company Van Oord have completed the first phase of the Port Koper deepening project. The increased water depth of 14 m at the port’s Container Terminal will allow the berthing of bigger vessels with larger loads, creating new possibilities for future growth.
In an exclusive interview with Dredging Today, the President of the Management Board of Port of Koper, Mr. Dragomir Matić provided an invaluable insights into the company’s business and dredging plans.
At its session on 22nd August 2014, the Port of Koper’s Supervisory Board was acquainted with non-audited report of the Group Luka Koper in the first half of this year and praised the work and efforts of all employees and the Management Board.
DT: What can you tell us about your achievements in 2014 so far?
Mr. Matić: We are very satisfied with our financial and business results for the first half of 2014. The throughput has grown on all terminals, far the most on container terminal where we have achieved 13% of growth, the highest percentage in the region.
The growth of cargo had an impact also on revenues which were 9% higher than in the same period of last year, with an astonishing increase of the net profit within 86%. In the same period we have finally deepened our first basin to 14 m and now we are ready to birth bigger or more loaded vessels. We have also extended the storage area on the container terminal.
DT: The Port of Koper dredging project is completed. Can you give us more details about the dredging program and your cooperation with Van Oord?
Mr. Matić: To be more concrete, the first phase of the dredging project is completed. Next year we plan to finish the second phase of dredging to 15 m. We were very satisfied with the chosen provider. Van Oord has used a technique we were not used to in Koper and works proceeded on quite smoothly.
DT: At the recent assembly of the North Adriatic Ports Association, Presidents of the NAPA ports were acquainted with the recent decision of the TEN-T’s (Trans European Transport Network) Financial Board to financially support NAPA projects. What are your expectations about this?
Mr. Matić: As you probably know, the dredging process was co-financed by EU through the NAPADRAG project (TEN-T program). We are counting on EU funds also for our future projects, mainly regarding the development of port infrastructures.
DT: An international commission of experts has shortlisted Port of Koper as one of five finalists, competing for the award of the Association ESPO (European Sea Ports Organization). What does this mean to Port of Koper?
Mr. Matić: It is not the first time that Port of Koper is listed among the finalists of ESPO Award on societal integration of ports. The theme of the award changes every year and this time they are dealing with environmental issues. We think we have to say a lot about this topic, because we have invested more than 10 million of euro in the last ten years for techniques and researches that minimize the effect of port operations on the environment.
We are conquering for the award with the project ‘No waste, just resources!’, dealing with good practices in the waste management in the Port of Koper, highlighting the spraying of dusty cargoes with cellulose mixture, use of waste wood for heating, composting and use of marine sediments for construction purposes.
Together with other members of NAPA, Port of Koper again participated at the biennial Transport Logistics China fair which took place between 17th and 19th June in Shanghai. Can you comment the importance of Asia’s market for NAPA and Port of Koper?
Mr. Matić: Far East markets are of crucial importance not only for our port but for all ports in the region. North Adriatic has the potential to become one of the main gateways to Central Europe for cargo coming from the Far East. That’s why we have established NAPA, to promote the region on the markets beyond Suez.