€20 million loan to modernise privately owned Port of Adria
The EBRD is providing a loan of €20 million to support the development of Port of Bar, Montenegro’s main sea port.
A major commercial gateway in the country, the port is a key transport link between Montenegro and the rest of the Balkan Peninsula. It handles over 95 per cent of the country’s maritime freight and its development is paramount to improving cross-border infrastructure and greater regional economic integration.
The EBRD funds are being extended to Port of Adria, which operates container and general cargo terminals in the Port of Bar under a 30-year concession agreement. The Company is controlled by UK-based Global Ports Holding plc through its wholly owned subsidiary Global Liman Isletmeleri A.S. as the majority shareholder.
As part of the privatisation agreement, Global Ports Holding has committed to implementing both social programmes, such as extensive training and investment programmes. These include the rehabilitation of the pier and the acquisition of port equipment such as new cranes, industrial trucks and other vehicles for handling cargo containers as well as converting warehouses for storing refrigerated containers.
In the long term, the company is aiming to transform its terminals at the Port of Bar into a hub that can be used as an intermediate destination by trucks travelling between western Europe and Turkey. The company is also planning to increase the volume of Serbian cargo as the rail link between Belgrade and the city of Bar is being refurbished.
In addition, the company is exploring ways to increase the role the port is playing in Montenegro’s tourism, a sector which remains constrained by the underdeveloped transport infrastructure.
Sue Barrett, EBRD Director for Transport, said: “We are particularly pleased to see the continuous modernisation of the Port of Adria. The EBRD has previously provided important financing, and we are proud to see greater private sector participation in the delivery of much-needed infrastructure projects in the country. We are confident this will become a success story which will encourage further private investment in transport infrastructure in Montenegro and the wider region.”
Mehmet Kutman, Chairman of Global Investment Holding, said: “This loan illustrates faith in Montenegro and our industry. We are grateful to the EBRD as long-standing partner of Global Ports Holding. This loan will help Port of Adria to modernise its facilities, install modern equipment and turn into a strong logistics hub in the eastern Adriatic region.”
The EBRD’s financing is part of a wider effort to develop strategic transport connections in the Western Balkans that are crucial to the development of competitive and integrated economies in the region. The Bank works closely with its partners, such as the European Union, to achieve this goal, which will boost trade across the region and with the EU. In addition to physical infrastructure, the Bank and its partners are also promoting a “soft connectivity agenda” – helping to forge links between markets, strengthening commercial ties and improving the business climate.
The EBRD is a leading institutional investor in Montenegro. To date, it has invested some €550 million in over 50 projects in the country. Its investments aim to make the local economy more competitive, integrated and green. The Bank is also working with the government to advance policies that improve the business environment in the country.