Today Mr. Robert Časar, president of the Management Board of Luka Koper, signed a contract for the purchase of two Postpanamax cranes with Mr. Pat O'Leary, director of the Irish company Liebherr Container Cranes Ltd. The new cranes will be set on the new extended part of the first pier. The company Liebherr has rich experiences and good references: in the last decade it supplied more than 120 container cranes to ports all over the world.
Postpanamax cranes are modern container cranes with a 51 meter long boom, which means that they can handle vessels with a width which equals 18 containers. With the new cranes the container terminal will be able to handle bigger vessels capable of transporting up to 8,000 TEUs (Twenty equivalent units). For now the Luka Koper’s container terminal is able to accept vessels up to 4,500 TEUs. A condition for all this remains the extension of the first pier. Right today the nomination of the winner of the construction works for the extension of the first pier tender became legally binding. The winning company is CM Celje, which will build a 146 meters long and 34 meters wide new shore. The first 50 meters will be constructed till June, while the rest till the end of the year. In a third phase Luka Koper will take care of the hinterland areas. The entire investment, which should be concluded in 22 months, is worth 50 million Euros (without the purchase of the Postpanamax cranes). It will enable the duplication of the throughput of containers from the today's 300,000 to 600,000 TEUs. With the construction of the third pier and in accordance to the Luka Koper long term plans the container traffic will reach one million TEUs. All the calculations are based on today trends which show that till 2010 the container traffic in the European area should increase for 100% and should reach 100 million TEUs. The North European ports are already congested; this is why a half of the traffic will be taken over by the South European ports or the Mediterranean ports, where an important part should be played by the Adriatic. This is why many Adriatic ports are planning as well as already extending and modernizing their capacities for the container throughput.