Adriatic Gate Container Terminal (AGCT), the Croatian subsidiary of International Container Terminal Services Inc. (ICTSI) at the Port of Rijeka, is set to realize a comprehensive expansion plan in the period up to mid-2020.
In close cooperation with the Rijeka Port Authority, AGCT has drawn up plans for a two-phase dredging scheme with the first phase fully-approved, entailing the dredging of 130 meters of quay over its Berths 1 and 2. This will facilitate the berthing of vessels with a length overall (LOA) of up to 400 meters. The work will be completed by mid-2020 and will provide 438 meters of berth with a depth alongside of 15 meters.
Financing for the infrastructure works has been provided by the EU and PRA, with ICTSI undertaking all the associated necessary investment in quayside and landside handling systems, as well as the increased coverage of the terminal’s state-of-the-art IT systems.
The second phase foresees additional dredging alongside the 438m of quay to a depth of 16.5 meters. Once completed, this project will make AGCT the first terminal in the northern Adriatic able to berth vessels of up to 20,000 twenty-foot equivalent units (TEU) capacity, with an LOA of up to 400 meters and beam of 59 meters.
“We have decided to do this against a background of steady demand but, more importantly, to keep pace with the requirements of our clients in terms of both ship size and a rise in intermodal rail activity,” explains Wojciech Szymulewicz, AGCT chief executive officer.
He adds: “The capacity expansion will also deliver an overall boost to efficiency levels at the terminal, building upon the strengths we have already established in terms of vessel and truck turnaround as well as intermodal rail connectivity.”
Complementing these initiatives are new Super Post Panamax cranes with an outreach of at least 24 rows, as part of the berth upgrade; and new rubber tyred gantries (RTGs) and prime movers introduced on the landside.
Work is also now advanced on upgrading AGCT’s on-dock rail terminal to offer an annual capacity of 360,000 TEUs per year. The upgraded rail yard will feature two new rail mounted gantries (RMGs) over four rail lines. The upgrade will be completed in the last quarter of 2019.
Total terminal yard capacity will be increased up to 600,000 TEUs per year in line with demand.
AGCT is configured to optimize road and rail connectivity. For trucks, the terminal offers a direct connection to the highway and a competitive average truck dwell time of just 13 minutes in the export cycle and 19 minutes in the import cycle. Approximately 40 percent of the terminal’s annual throughput now moves via rail, and this is expected to increase up to a level of 60 percent.
Regular services operated by rail directly from AGCT include cross border services to Hungary, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and within Croatia to the capital city of Zagreb. With spare capacity in the rail system and a fully liberalized rail market in operation, providing access to private rail operators, AGCT is very confident that working with its shipping line clients and common user operators will continue to extend its market reach and grow the terminal’s rail market share.
“The Port of Rijeka and AGCT are a very competitive option in the Adriatic,” notes Hans-Ole Madsen, ICTSI Senior Vice President and Regional Head of Europe-Middle East-Africa.
He adds: “While the volume through AGCT has risen modestly year on year, the expansion program will future proof the terminal in terms of both providing new volume capacity for the longer term and meeting new system requirements, notably accommodating bigger vessels and boosting the intermodal rail capability. The program has involved close client liaison and study of all relevant market factors, and we are confident AGCT will meet the needs of container lines calling Rijeka and of cargo owners for the foreseeable future.”