Brčko Port celebrates completion of state-of-the-art crane

Brčko Port celebrates completion of state-of-the-art crane


A pivotal moment for the Port of Brčko has arrived with the opening of a new crane. It was delivered as part of the modernisation project delivered through the Western Balkans Investment Framework (WBIF).

The modernisation addressed the urgent need to upgrade the port's infrastructure, as much of its equipment was outdated, including cranes dating back over 50 years. The new crane boasts a carrying capacity of up to 16 tonnes, tripling the capability of the previous one.

This enhancement is expected to significantly increase the port's efficiency, facilitating the handling of goods at a rate of 150-200 tonnes per hour.

The port received a €3 million grant from the European Union, supplemented by a €7 million favourable loan from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) to upgrade its infrastructure. The Head of the EU Delegation and EU Special Representative Ambassador Johann Sattler, alongside the Director of the Port Perica Josić, officially put the crane to work at a ceremony on 8 March 2024.

Today we are witnessing a notable achievement in the ongoing modernisation efforts of the Brčko Port and I'm delighted the EU could contribute to it. Brčko’s advantageous position on the Sava is not currently used to its full potential. By supporting the modernisation of the Brčko Port, we are not only contributing to economic development and jobs, but also to strengthening the trade links and opportunities between Bosnia and Herzegovina and the European Union as well as the wider region”, said EU Ambassador Johann Sattler.

The installation of the state-of-the-art crane is a notable achievement and comes on the heels of the successful completion of the port plateau in 2022. The final EU-funded component of the project is 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 and is expected to be completed in 2024.

"Today we have the honour to mark the completion of work on this project. This is a historic day for the Brčko Port, because there has been no serious investment here in the last 50 years. As part of this project, a new railway and a new access road was built, we got a new modern crane and we built a new port platform. This is important not only for Brčko District but also for the whole of Bosnia and Herzegovina, because the Brčko Port is of strategic interest for the entire country. Investing in this structure will be the driver of new economic development", stressed the Brčko Port Director, Perica Josić.

The investment in the Brčko Port modernisation project underscores the EU's commitment to fostering economic development and connectivity in Bosnia and Herzegovina, paving the way for enhanced trade and prosperity in the region.

Opening of Port of Brčko crane, 8 March 2024 (c) WBIF, EUDEL BIH

“This is the biggest gift for us. The size of this imposing crane pales in significance to the importance the EU has ascribed to Brčko District. We have heard of all the benefits of this project, including as part of Green Agenda, the decarbonisation process, and traffic transformation. In the long term this project will bring many more benefits, especially economic, and functioning of this crane will mean prosperity not just for Brčko but the wider region,” stated Brčko District Mayor Zijad Nišić.

This is a large project and one that will really make a difference for economy of Brčko and help with business development as well as exports and imports into the country, and bring Bosnia and Herzegovina closer to the EU. The first barge should come here in April and I hope this will be a thriving port, said Head of the EBRD in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Manuela Naessl.

The Brčko Port modernisation project is a key part of the European Commission's Economic and Investment Plan to improve transportation in the Western Balkans. 

See photo gallery from the event here