EBRD supports modernisation of Croatian port

€11.2 million for construction of new bulk terminal in Ploce port

London, United Kingdom – The EBRD is lending €11.2 million to the Port of Ploce Authority, a key cargo port in southern Croatia, to contribute to the financing of the construction of a new bulk cargo terminal. The loan will enable the port to eliminate existing operational bottlenecks in handling bulk cargo and to increase its capacity to meet current and future market demands.

The construction of the terminal is part of the Ploce Port expansion programme undertaken by the Croatian government, which the EBRD is co-financing jointly with the World Bank. The loan will be guaranteed by the Republic of Croatia. Additional technical cooperation funding of €50,000 has been provided by the Dutch donor fund for project preparation and assistance with preparation of the new concession agreement with the port operator.

The joint EBRD and World Bank financed project will support the further development of trade along the Corridor Vc, one of the three major Pan-European transport corridors linking Croatia to EU markets. The finance will help improve the capacity, efficiency and quality of services at the southern end of the corridor, with a particular focus on the Port of Ploce and on improving coordination among all corridor participants in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Charlotte Ruhe, EBRD Director for Croatia, said this project is an excellent example of cooperation between the Croatian government, the Port of Ploce Authority, the World Bank and the EBRD. It will stimulate the trade potential and development opportunities of one of the main Croatian ports as well as the neighbouring region.

Ploce port offers good prospects for trade and transit traffic, as demonstrated by the growth in the traffic experienced over recent years. With annual traffic volume expected to increase from 2 million tonnes in 2004 to 7.2 million tonnes in 2010, it has become vital to upgrade the infrastructure and operational capabilities.

Tomislav Batur, the Director of the Port of Ploce Authority, said the funding will allow Ploce to provide high quality port services to the growing traffic flows along the Trans-European Corridor Vc, which starts in Ploce and ends in Budapest, providing improved prospects for more efficient trade links among the countries of the region.

So far, the EBRD has invested more than €1.8 billion in Croatia in 82 projects across all sectors of the economy, with a concentration on the financial sector and on infrastructure. In addition, the Bank helped mobilise €3 billion from other sources.