Upon today's Slovenian Maritime Day, the director of Slovenian Maritime Administration (SMA) Jadran Klinec and Luka Koper's Management Board President Gašpar Gašpar Mišič signed a letter of intent in order to provide a comprehensive collaboration with a special emphasis on the following issues:
- regular forms of professional collaboration (appointment of a work group),
- collaboration in the absorption of EU grants for the projects of common interest,
- mutual access to information of common interest (through web technologies),
- ICT links for arriving vessels,
- more efficient methods to deliver information on waste and other safety information,
- solutions for the installation of surveillance equipment in order to provide maximum security and efficiency at the Port of Koper.
Upon this occasion, SMA's Director Jadran Klinec delighted Luka Koper with the order issued by the Administration that allows vessels with 12.5-metre draft to enter the Basin I and hence the Container Terminal. This will make it easier for Luka Koper to wait for the completion of the second stage of dredging operations to 14 metres that will be finished by the end of April; thus far the maximum permissible draft was 11.8 metres. Consequently, Luka Koper will be able to increase the cargo throughput up to 1,800 TEUs upon vessels' entering as well as leaving which is an increase of up to 3,600 TEUs per individual vessel. "The development of Luka Koper is also in the interest of the state. Increased sea depths and increased permissible draft will allow larger and modern vessels - i.e. also more environment-friendly and with less emissions - to arrive to Koper," pointed out SMA's Director Jadran Klinec upon delivering the Administration's order.
The signing of letter of intent between Luka Koper and SMA means further strengthening of already good relations. Luka Koper has infrastructure that could be used by the Administration; for example video surveillance of the basins, weather station, locations to install meters. And vice versa: Luka Koper could use data collected by SMA. The relations have also been enhanced through important collaboration in the European projects, in particular MOS4MOS, B2MOS and ANNA within the TEN-T programme aimed at the promotion of a uniform gateway that would allow the shipowners to send information to a single address.
Upon the Slovenian Maritime Day and the issue of SMA order, the Management Board President Gašpar Gašpar Mišič thanked Mr Klinec for collaboration and attention to port-related topics and said: "The Slovenian coat of arms consists of two important symbols of our nation, i.e. Triglav and the sea, and the latter is in terms of business mainly related to the Port of Koper. The one and only we have hence we rightly call it the Slovenian window to the world. Therefore I am convinced that the Port of Koper is one of the key symbols of the Slovenian identity, the bastion of national pride and crucial competitive advantage of our country, in particular in relation to those European countries that have no access to the sea and import and export their merchandise as well as daily supply their economy via the Port of Koper. Therefore Luka Koper is a strategic investment of the state and can't afford to be constant victim of changing political interests.
It is no secret that important world logistics and terminal operators are interested in the acquisition of Luka Koper. This testifies to a large potential of the Port of Koper mainly due to its excellent geostrategic location. We weren't aware of that in the past as a state, and the port and logistic infrastructure didn't follow this potential. The ports are a lot more than just piers and storage facilities within the port zone. Luka Koper extends to the markets of Central and Eastern Europe to which it is connected through, unfortunately, not most appropriate infrastructure.
Unfortunately, we are still not fully aware that Slovenia is a maritime country. The sea and excellent geographic position are this country's key competitive advantages. Luka Koper knows that and is able to market it or wouldn’t be able to achieve results that place it at the top of the North Adriatic ports and broader. Slovenia's development should be based on the logistics. Borrowing definitely won't help us get up on our feet again."