CZ/SK verze

Slovenians want to modernise Koper port and attract countries from Central Europe to invest

Slovenians want to modernise Koper port and attract countries from Central Europe to invest
photo: of Koper
06 / 05 / 2021

Slovenian Minister Jernej Vrtovec is going to Prague and then to other V4 countries, who would like to convince the Czech Republic that it makes sense to participate in the project of the construction of a 27 km long railway, which, in the amount of more than CZK 30 billion, will allow the transport of significantly more goods from Koper and in the opposite direction.

"For the Central European region, Koper is the most important and largest port in the Adriatic Sea," said Petr Rožek, Executive Director of the Union of Forwarding and Logistics. Compared to the main European ports in Hamburg and Rotterdam, Koper is about 300 kilometers closer to the eastern part of the Czech Republic. Last year, 945 000 containers and 617 000 cars were cleared from Koper in both directions.  It is also increasingly important for the transport of goods that are made in the Czech Republic or imported into it. According to Rožek, however, the short single-track connection prevents the further development of the port, which does not allow a significant increase in turnover. Koper's capacity could otherwise be about 40 million tonnes of goods, double last year's, according to analyses.

This can be changed by the construction of a second track leading to the railway junction Divača. However, it will lead through complicated terrain, which will require the construction of tunnels and viaducts. Therefore, the cost will be at least 1.2 billion euros (about 31 billion crowns). Slovenia does not have such a large amount, although it plans to spend about half of the state budget. Last year, it also received an EUR 250 million loan from the European Investment Bank and an EUR 80 million grant from the EU Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) as it is called.

A Slovenian visit is therefore not just a courtesy visit. Slovenia has the same talks with other countries and private firms. Hungary, for example, has previously stated that it is willing to support the construction of EUR 200 million (about 5,2 billion crowns). According to Slovenian media, however, Hungarians want Slovenia to give them part of the port for it. And that is unacceptable to Slovenians.

The port of Koper is also interested in Metrans, which operates regular rail container lines from Koper to its terminals in The Danube Streda and Budapest. "We run 62 container trains a week in both directions," said Metrans manager Pavel Kaňka. Metrans is part of a German logistics group focused on the port of Hamburg. However, the decision to invest EUR 40 million in a new railway terminal in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, confirms the greater interest in the „south“. Metrans also strengthens in the nearby Italian port of Trieste.