Yesterday (15th October) Luka Koper installed a fourth post-panamax container crane at the Pier I quayside. Manufactured by Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd., Killarney, this is the last of four such cranes to be delivered to the Port of Koper this year. The first two were supplied during the summer and have been fully operational for over a month; the third crane arrived at the port last week, while this final one is anticipated to become operational in early November.

All four new cranes share the same technical specifications and allow the servicing of vessels carrying up to 8,000 TEUs. Each has a maximum reach of 51 m, and is thus able to extend right the way across a row of 18 containers on the deck. Their lifting capacity is 75 tonnes, and the maximum height of lift is 36 m; hoisting with a load is 56 m/min (and 140 m/min without a load), whilst the trolley can travel at 180 m/min.

This, however, doesn’t round up the cycle of investments in Koper’s Container Terminal. Following the 146 m extension of the container quayside early this year, we shall complete the third stage of the expansion and upgrade of the Terminal with the infill of lagoons between the quayside and Pier’s hinterland, as well as reclamation of new areas at the western end of Pier I, thus providing an additional 30,000 m2 of container handling and storage area.

Today, Koper’s Container Terminal has 596 m of operative quayside with four panamax and four post-panamax cranes. The total storage capacity amounts to 19,000 TEUs, and features 300 reefer outlets. The total storage area covers 172,000 m2, while the estimated throughput potential is henceforth about 600,000 TEUs per annum.

This year’s recession has caused a slight dip on the 2008 record of 353,880-TEUs at the Container Terminal: 245,664 TEUs were loaded and unloaded from container vessels during the first nine months of 2009, a figure which is six percent down the same period last year, but 2.4 percent ahead of projections.

Total cargo throughput at the Port of Koper amounted to 9,549,436 tonnes during the January to September period, which is some twenty percent down on last year and thirteen percent behind anticipated volumes. The largest drop was witnessed by the Car Terminal – fifty percent down on the same period last year and 24 percent below projections; on the up-side increased throughput volumes were recorded for timber and liquid cargos.