Luka Koper has commenced construction of a 6,840 m2 storage area behind berth 7C, at the head of the Pier I Container Terminal of the Port of Koper. This 8,390,000 euro (inclusive of VAT) investment - referred to as Dilatacija (Expansion) 2 and 3 in the project documentation - shall be capable of storing an additional 672 TEUs.
The new construction will rest on 273 load bearing piles which shall be driven to the depth of cca -50 m below ground level. The works are anticipated to be completed in August 2014, whereas the pile driving operation shall last for about five months.
These works pertain to plans for the extension of Pier I which were endorsed by the company's Supervisory Board this spring. This investment will increase current capacity from 750,000 TEUs per annum to 980,000 TEUs per annum. Further to seabed dredging in Basin I, the project also includes construction of an additional 100 m of quayside together with all the pertaining equipment. The project, which shall be executed in stages and accordingly put to operation gradually, will be completed by 2018 and its total estimated value amounts to 78 million euros.
Through its investments in infrastructure and equipment at Pier I and beyond, Luka Koper shall provide a cargo throughput capacity of 1.4 million TEUs per annum over the next ten years. By relocating other cargo categories to alternative locations at the port as well as increasing rail freight capacities into the hinterland, total container throughput at Pier I could eventually stand at nearly two million TEUs per annum.
Last week, the invitation to submit tenders in relation to the elaboration of project documentation for the extension of Pier I, was published on Slovenia’s public procurement portal. The contract will be fifty-percent funded by the European Union within the framework of the NapaProg project as part of the EU’s Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T ) programme. The European Commission shall also co-fund (10 percent) of the NapaDrag project, prepared by Luka Koper in collaboration with Venice Port Authority, which aims to improve nautical access. The dredging of the seabed in Basin I also includes the creation of disposal sites for dredged silt in the port's hinterland. During her visit to Koper a few days ago, the representative of TEN-T executive agency, Ms Virag Sandor, was introduced to the course of both projects. The construction of disposal sites at plots 7A and 799 is well advanced, and shall be completed in late January or early February. At the same time, the selection of a dredging contractor is also underway and details shall be published via Slovenia’s public procurement portal.
During the period prior to the deepening of Basin I to an initial depth of -14 m, and to -15 m by the end of 2014, Luka Koper is preparing to level an incline in Basin I, which will increase the maximum permissible draft of vessels from 11.8 to 12.8 m. Although these depths will not facilitate the arrival of larger container vessels, they will enable a greater throughput in relation to servicing existing ships in particular with respect to cargo exports.