Beginning of Works on the Modernization of the Port of Brčko
On Tuesday, the beginning of preparatory works on the reconstruction and modernization of the port of Brčko, a project co-funded by the European Union, was officially marked. The event was attended by the Mayor of Brčko, the President of the Brčko Assembly, representatives of the European Union, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and the Office of the High Representative.
The WBIF project Reconstruction and Modernisation of the River Port of Brčko Phase 1 will include the construction and arrangement of the port plateau, the purchase of a new crane, the reconstruction of the access road from the port to Bijeljinska cesta as well as the industrial railway from the port to Brčko Novo railway station. The works will first start on the reconstruction of the plateau, which will be performed by the company Bijeljina and Prijedor putevi, selected at a public tender.
Mechanization in the port of Brčko is mostly dilapidated, and the portal cranes are more than 50 years old. The project also includes the procurement of a new crane with a carrying capacity of up to 16 tons (three times larger than the current one), which will contribute to increasing the handling capacity of goods to 150 to 200 tons per hour.
The total value of the project is €10 million and is financed by a grant from the European Union in the amount of over €3 million and a loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in the amount of €7 million. The rehabilitation project for Brčko Port has been identified in the European Commission's Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans as a Flagship 1 (Connecting East to West) within the investment area Sustainable Transport.
These Flagship projects are addressing also the bottlenecks on the Danube river to improve the sustainable transport mode of the waterways as part of the TEN-T network, and to facilitate further development of intermodal exchanges
The Head of the EU Delegation to BiH and EU Special Representative, Ambassador Johann Sattler, said: "Thanks to its strategic and geographical position, the port of Brčko can become a key transit point for the flow of freight traffic between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union. The current infrastructure of the port is outdated and difficult to access by rail, but after the reconstruction it can become a central link for the region's economies. I am pleased that the EU has supported the modernization with a €3 million grant. This will bring concrete benefits to the local community and the country as a whole through new investments, job creation and new business opportunities."
Manuela Naessl, director of the office of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in BiH, said: "The EBRD is pleased that the modernization of the Port of Brčko is finally beginning. We are confident that this project will have a significant positive impact on economic growth and trade facilitation here in Brčko and throughout BiH. The port can be a trade hub and with its excellent location also an export centre for the region. We will continue to support this development - hoping that private investors will also take advantage of the opportunities in the new port - and we will continue to support the improvement of infrastructure throughout BiH, achieving better links with countries in the region and the EU."
The Director of the Port of Brčko, Perica Josić, stated: “The Port of Brčko is an important transit point for the flow of freight traffic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and is connected to the European Union by rail, road and river. With this modernization project consisting of three parts: reconstruction of the plateau with stormwater drainage, procurement of a new crane and reconstruction of the railway from Brčko Novo station to Brčko Port with the construction of the access road, we will make our port more competitive, more efficient and better equipped with increased capacity. which will allow us to increase the volume of work and attract new clients."
The Mayor of the Brčko District of BiH, Esed Kadrić, said: "Despite all the challenges in the past year, we have completed all the preparatory work so that today we can attend the beginning of the realization of this strategic infrastructure project. The modernization of the only river port in BiH - the Port of Brčko will increase the competitiveness of the Brčko District when it comes to economic development. I expect that the entire economy of BiH will benefit from this project, as well as its citizens."
The President of the Assembly of the Brčko District of BiH, Siniša Milić, stated: "The project of revitalization of the Port is one of the most important projects in Brčko that will position us in the center of integration activities when it comes to connecting economy and transport, not only in BiH but also in the region."
More about the WBIF Activities in Bosnia and Herzegovina