Koper, 22 May (STA) - The future of the Koper Port was in focus at a maritime panel held on Tuesday. Luka Koper CEO Gregor Veselko stressed the importance of a strategic partner for the long-term development of the port, while economist Jože Damijan sees the future in creating a port authority with at least two concessionaires.
Port operator Luka Koper is looking at large infrastructure projects
which are $extremely capital intensive$, Veselko told the
He said the company could alone finance investments only up to
a certain extent, but for anything more alternative sources would need to
be found. $In this context a question of a strategic partner is likely
to arise very soon,$ he stressed.
With transshipment on the
increase, Luka Koper is at a watershed moment, Veselko said, adding that if
things are to be move forward, a $concrete form of cooperation with a
strategic partner would become urgently necessary$.
the Ljubljana Faculty of Economics Jože Damijan on the other hand believes
that a strategic partner is not necessary at this point, $but if
Slovenian politics fails to decide what to do with the strategic
development of the port, this will be unavoidable$.
is stagnating and is currently in a very bad capital condition, and would
as such need a strategic partner, he stressed.
In the long run, a
port authority would need to be formed, together with at least one more
concessionary in addition to Luka Koper. The second concessionary would
build a third pier and a second rail track between Divača and Koper,
$This would lead to a normal management
structure and utilization of port capacities as is in the case of majority
of other ports in Western Europe,$ he said.
Some of the problems
Luka Koper is facing are also due to state ownership, he believes. $If
the port operator was to be privatised through a strategic partner and the
state stake reduced to say 25%, then the politics would lose its influence
and this would have beneficial effect on the port's future growth,$ he
Veselko meanwhile stressed that a port authority would
have both strengths and weaknesses: $If we look back, the benefits of
the current configuration outweigh the weaknesses.$ He stressed that a
strategic partner would not necessary mean that a port authority needs to