July 11th 2012 – Koper hosted the General Assembly of Northern Adriatic Ports Association. NAPA was established in November 2009 in order to join in promotion of North Adriatic transport route on potential markets, especially Far East. Member ports also engaged themselves in pursuing ecology, safety and informations technology issues within all transport connections, most important being European railway corridors.
NAPA was established by ports of Koper, Venice, Ravenna and Trieste, Port of Rijeka joined in 2010. The presidency rotates among all the port member presidents for a 6 months mandate. The first to take over the presidency was president of management board of Port of Koper, Mr. Gregor Veselko, and has taken over the NAPA steering wheel again this 1st July.
At the NAPA General Assembly meeting the five presidents made an overview of past common accomplishments and introduced future goals. One of the most important achievements being European Commission’s recognition of NAPA ports as European core ports and Northern Adriatic as the key EU entrance. EU Commission supported that with the proposal for building railway network (TEN-t) and connecting NAPA ports (except Rijeka, which is not an EU member yet) to Adriatic – Baltic and the Mediterranean corridors. With that the Commission opened a possibility for NAPA member states to obtain financial support for building railway network to their hinterlands from EU funds.
Today, on behalf of common commercial activities and as a result greater awareness of NAPA ports in the world their throughput grows constantly. Last year the sum of NAPA ports made 124 million tons of cargo throughput, which places NAPA on the forth place among the European ports.
NAPA ports handled 1,8 million TEU containers, which represent the biggest and most competitive cargo group for NAPA and still offers much more potential. A study estimates that around 6 million TEUs can be reached until 2030.
The presidents also introduced future goals and development plans for NAPA. All members will expand the existing container capacities and are determined to attract more direct lines to the Adriatic and grow as a destination, competitive with Northern European ports.