Port of Bar gets €20m EBRD loan

Mehmet Kutman, chairman of Global Investment Holdings (L) and Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD managing director for industry, commerce and agribusiness (R) Mehmet Kutman, chairman of Global Investment Holdings (L) and Jean-Marc Peterschmitt, EBRD managing director for industry, commerce and agribusiness (R)

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is providing a €20m loan to support the development of Montenegro’s main seaport, the Port of Bar.

In a release, the international finance intuition said that it was awarding the loan to the Port of Adria company, which runs general cargo and container terminals in the Port of Bar under a 30-year concession deal.

Port of Adria is controlled by UK-based company Global Ports Holding through its fully-owned subsidiary Global Liman Isletmeleri as the majority stakeholder.

Delving deeper

According to the release, Global Ports Holding has committed to executing both social and investment programmes, like rehabilitating the pier, acquiring port equipment and converting warehouses for storing refrigerated containers, and aims in the long-term to turn its Port of Bar terminals into a hub that trucks journeying between western Europe and Turkey can use as an intermediate destination.

Additionally, the business is planning to boost the amount of Serbian cargo as the rail link between Belgrade, Serbia’s capital, and the city of Bar is refurbished, and it is also looking at methods of growing the role the port has in Montenegro’s tourism.

The EBRD loan forms part of a broader endeavour to develop strategic transport connections in the Western Balkans that are vital to the development of competitive and integrated economies in the area.

The monetary institution and its partners are also promoting a “soft connectivity agenda”, helping to create connections between markets, strengthening commercial ties and bettering the business climate, according to the EBRD release.

Commenting on the funding decision, Mehmet Kutman, chairman of Global Investment Holdings, which owns Global Ports Holding, said: “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.”

“We are particularly pleased to see the continuous modernisation of Port of Adria,” said Sue Barrett, director for Transport at the EBRD.

“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.”

According to the EBRD release, the Port of Bar is a key transport connection between Montenegro and the rest of the Balkan Peninsula — handling more than 95% of Montenegro’s maritime freight — with its development being vital to bettering cross-border infrastructure and further regional economic integration.

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