Spartamatrix - Port of Rijeka Background.

Rijeka Gateway project will create a dominant traffic route in Croatia, connecting seaways with European road and railway corridors.

Online PR News – 11-June-2012 – Los Angeles and California – It is our objective that by 2015 Rijeka, the third largest city in Croatia and Croatia’s largest port, will look more like Barcelona or Baltimore. Its new facilities will accommodate cruise line vessels of up to 500 passengers along with multiple smaller passenger ships. The central part of the Rijeka basin will be opened up for commercial use, while local citizens and visitors will be able to access the coastal area, creating an attractive Mediterranean port city.

In 2003 the reconstruction of the Rijeka seaway, known as the Rijeka Gateway, was initiated by the Croatian Government in cooperation with the World Bank. This project changed the face of the city and helped increase the competitiveness of the Croatian economy by improving the international traffic sector in Rijeka for cargo and passenger transport. Now the port and local area are a prime candidate for modernizing the connections between the harbor and road networks and revitalizing the harbor business activities through better road and bridge infrastructure as well as modern cargo transfer and handling facilities.

The World Bank loan of $156.6 million was intended to be applied towards financing major improvements and transformations including:

· the reconstruction of the harbor's infrastructure;

· the replacement of equipment used for handling heavy cargo;

· the development of the border area between the harbor and the city;

· improvement of management and security of the harbor traffic and environmental protection;

· finishing up the western part of the Rijeka roundabout and construction of a connection road for the harbor;

· as well as reconstruction of the Krk Island bridge.

The funds however were not managed effectively and there still remains opportunity to complete the various tasks under commercial management with commercial incentives in place. The extension of Rijeka's Zagreb Pier will help Rjieka take in large vessels. Rijeka should have a completely modernized container terminal in the eastern part of the city and a new, modern cargo terminal in the western part of the city.

Jobs for the city and region

“The development of the port that has already begun and the future increase in commercial activities in Delta and Porto Baroš, should bring significant benefits to the community," said Executive Director of the Port Authority Mr. Bojan Hlaca.

"According to our consultants, it is expected that 2,000 jobs will be created in Rijeka and another 1,000 in the region," Hlaca added. "Most of the work will be sea related, and some will be related to tourism. By the year 2020, the budget of the Republic of Croatia should receive an average $18.5 million from taxes on profit realized through business activities in Rijeka."

"It is estimated that by the year 2025, the business activity in the region will be worth more than €200 million from visitors spending in the area of the project and that €350 million of added value in the region will be created through the spending of foreign tourists and domestic visitors.“

A major traffic route and gateway to Europe

Rijeka Gateway project will create a dominant traffic route in Croatia, connecting seaways with European road and railway corridors. Already, because of established road transport through the corridor V, the port of Rijeka generates around 40% of its cargo traffic with Hungary, Austria, Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Traffic growth should make Rijeka one of the main ports in the Central and Eastern Europe.

Since Croatia is a member of the European Union Zone (EUZ), the Croatian economy and its transport system is becoming an integral part of the EU transportation network. The growth of the Rijeka Port will depend on the role and importance of the transit traffic which Croatia will be capable of attracting as a member country.