Photo: APM Terminals

Maersk secures new terminal in Croatia for 24,000 TEU giants

Dutch container terminal operator APM Terminals, part of Maersk, and Croatian investor Energia Naturalis (ENNA) have signed a 50-year concession agreement for Rijeka Gateway, a joint venture container terminal between the two companies on the North Adriatic coast of Croatia.

With the signature of the concession agreement on 5 November 2021, the project for the new container terminal in Rijeka has now become reality.

Image Courtesy: APM Terminals

As informed, the facility is to be developed and jointly operated by APM Terminals and ENNA as joint venture partners (APM Terminals 51 per cent, ENNA 49 per cent).

The ceremony, attended by Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenković and Minister of Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković, marks the beginning of the construction phase for the new facility, expected to become operational within 3.5 years, when its first phase is expected to be completed.

After the completion of Phase 2, both phases together will have projected throughput of 1.055,000 TEU.

The future terminal will be part of APM Terminal’s global network, while benefitting from ENNA’s deep understanding of the local market in Croatia.

“For APM Terminals, development of this new facility is in line with our newly launched strategy of “Safer, Better, Bigger”. We want to grow our business where it makes sense and where our customers need us, and this is clearly the case with Rijeka”, Morten Engelstoft, APM Terminals CEO, commented.

“APM Terminals and Maersk have been strong business partners for ENNA, and partners who share our values and our business vision. We firmly believe that our joint venture of investment into the Zagreb Deep Sea container terminal in Rijeka (Rijeka Gateway) will lay the foundations for further growth and sustainability of the port operations and logistics business in Rijeka and in the Republic of Croatia,” Pavao Vujnovac, President of the Board, ENNA Group, said.

A new gateway for Croatia and Central Europe

Once completed, the new terminal will have a berth length of 400 metres (680 metres after completion of Phase 2) and will be equipped with three ship-to-shore (STS) cranes (four in total with Phase 2).

These cranes, believed to be the largest currently available in the market, will make Rijeka Gateway capable of serving vessels of up to 24,000 TEUs.

Another important feature of the new terminal will be efficient rail connection with the hinterland, linking Rijeka not only with the rest of Croatia but also with neighbouring markets. This will help make Rijeka Gateway uniquely positioned to become a gateway for the wider region.

“We see growing need for efficient, well-operated and modern gateway terminals, which serve as entry points to local and regional markets, bringing containerised goods closer to their end consumers. We are confident that Rijeka Gateway will become an important spot on the port logistics map, serving not only Croatia, but also the wider Central Europe region,” Engelstoft added.

“Rijeka Gateway and the modernisation of the railway infrastructure is Croatia’s largest national project that will connect the Port of Rijeka with continental Croatia and Central European countries, facilitating business opportunities and fast economic growth not only in logistics, but in all services and all industries,” Vujnovac further said.

“We are very pleased that after three years of cooperation between Maersk and ENNA Transport, we are starting a new partnership between APM Terminals and ENNA. We know that Rijeka Gateway will become an extraordinarily important factor in the logistics map of Europe.”