On 18th December 2012, Luka Koper Management Board member Marko Rems was a guest speaker at the Port of Koper International Propeller Club, an association for the promotion of the maritime sector. At this gathering, Mr Rems talked about Luka Koper’s future plans as well as the challenges surrounding the expansion of the Port.
The Port of Koper enjoys an extraordinary geostrategic advantage that Slovenia unfortunately fails to profit from; indeed, most of the Far East cargo continues to be shipped via far more distant ports in Northern Europe. Investment in infrastructure and the development of the entire Slovenian logistics sector are required to attract more cargo; indeed, the Port is only one link in this chain.
Luka Koper finds it difficult to plan its investments whilst it remains unsure as to when and how improvements will be made to the Port's transport links with its hinterland, commented Mr Rems. Based on the findings of Dr Jože P. Damijan’s study into a second rail track - which were presented short while ago - the current railway shall probably reach its maximum carrying capacity by 2018, whereas the construction of a second line is not anticipated until 2022.
Although Luka Koper wants to remain a multi-purpose port, containers and vehicles shall continue to be strategic cargos. The plans are clear, emphasised Mr Rems, and gave details of the decision to concentrate container freight on Pier I, which already has all necessary infrastructure. Its further extension by 100 metres and the corresponding construction of container storage areas might increase capacity by two million TEUs per annum.
The participating members of the Propeller Club were pleased with the news that the European Parliament Committees for Transport and Tourism, as well as for Industry, Research and Energy, voted in favour of the amendments which include the Port of Koper in the Adriatic-Baltic transport corridor, which is the most important of the TEN-T corridors and will likely enjoy priority in European budgetary funding. Thus Koper is, by way of its rail link via Maribor and Graz, connected with its most important Central European hinterland markets.