Koper, 23 July (STA) - Work on the extension of Pier 1 at Koper, Slovenia's only seaport, by some 100 metres will start soon, with the project co-funded by the EU funds being scheduled for completion in 2021.
Announcing the start of work, the port operator Luka Koper said on Tuesday it was currently its most important project, which would secure further development and increase the port's international competitiveness.
The extension of Pier 1, which supports container terminals, will be 98.5 metres long and 34.4 metres wide, extending the southern side of the pier to 695 metres.
The first phase, in which test piles will be installed, will start on Thursday, while the remaining three phases will be carried out in the second half of August. Five piles will be driven into the sea floor in each phase.
This will be followed by a monitoring phase, which will take two months, and in the case of positive results, the main work on the extension will be followed. The public tender for the contractor is still open.
The entire project is expected to be completed in 2021 to increase the capacity of container terminals to at least 1.5 million units a year.
In addition to investments in infrastructure, it includes the purchase of new cranes, machines and other equipment. Out of EUR 235 million, which the entire investment is valued at, EUR 6 million will come from the Connecting Europe Facility.
Luka Koper acquired the building permit for the extension last October following lengthy procedures and negotiations with the local community, with the Koper Municipality challenging the project due to environmental concerns.
As part of the negotiations, the company has promised to establish a fund for financing mitigating measures, in which it will pay EUR 200,000 every year.