Rijeka, Croatia (PortSEurope) August 1, 2019 – During the visit of Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović to Israel, a cooperation International Sister Seaports Agreement was signed between the ports of Rijeka and Haifa.
Signatories were temporary CEO of the Port of Rijeka, Duško Grabovac, and Haifa Port CEO Mandi Zatzman.
Rijeka port sees itself as a gateway into the European Union for Israeli produce and is in an expansion phase.
Portinvest, a Ukrainian port management company, is interested in investing in, and possibly becoming a shareholder in, Luka Rijeka d.d., the operator of Adriatic port of Rijeka.
In May, Minister of Economy, Entrepreneurship and Crafts Darko Horvat said that a delegation of the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) would visit Rijeka port to visit the May 3 shipyard, operated by the financially troubled Uljanik shipbuilding group. The Chinese company has been reported as being interested in the May 4 yard in Rijeka and the Pula port based Uljanik Shipyard. This could revise the local shipbuilding industry.
Separately, it was announced by HŽ Infrastruktura, the Croatian Railways Infrastructure company, that ten bids had been received for a contract to build part of a €297 million euro ($330.75 million) railway that will connect the Adriatic port of Rijeka with the Hungarian border, and that one of two bids received from Chinese consortia, was the lowest.
Also, Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), the Croatian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) at the port of Rijeka, is set to realize a comprehensive expansion plan in the period up to mid-2020.
With these developments, Rijeka port hopes to attract further cargo, and Israel is a clear option.
In Israel, Haifa port is scheduled to be developed by China’s Shanghai International Port Group under a contract with Israel Ports Development & Assets Company Ltd (IPC), but there are local objections and the U.S. has also indicated its dissatisfaction with the increased Chinese presence in Israel, particularly in a port used by its Navy.
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