EBRD gives 20-mln-euro loan to Turkish-run Port of Bar in Montenegro
ANKARA – Anadolu Agency
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is providing a 20-million-euro ($24.6 million) loan to modernize the Turkish-owned Port of Bar (also known as the Port of Adria), which handles over 95 percent of Montenegro’s maritime freight, the bank has announced.
The EBRD’s fund will be used to extend the port, which is a key transport link between Montenegro and the rest of the Balkan Peninsula, the bank said on Feb. 26.
“Its development is paramount to improving cross-border infrastructure and greater regional economic integration,” it said.
The port, which is controlled by the U.K.-based Global Ports Holding plc through its wholly owned subsidiary Turkey’s Global Liman İsletmeleri A.Ş. as the majority shareholder, operates container and general cargo terminals in the Port of Bar under a 30-year concession agreement, said the statement.
The EBRD said the holding has committed under the agreement to rehabilitate the pier and the acquisition of port equipment such as new cranes, industrial trucks, and other vehicles for handling cargo containers as well as converting warehouses for storing refrigerated containers.
The EBRD is confident the port will become a success story that will encourage further private investment in transport infrastructure in Montenegro and the wider region, said Sue Barrett, the EBRD director for transport.
The holding hopes to transform its terminals at the Port of Bar into a hub that can be used as a way port by trucks travelling between western Europe and Turkey, the statement said.
“This loan demonstrates faith in Montenegro and our industry,” Global Investment Holding chairman Mehmet Kutman said
“This loan will help the Port of Bar to modernize its facilities, install modern equipment and turn into a strong logistics hub in the eastern Adriatic region,” Kutman said.
The bank is a leading institutional investor with investments worth $550 million in over 50 projects in Montenegro, the statement said.
The EBRD, founded in 1991, helps businesses with its financial investments, services and involvement in high-level policy reform. Turkey’s Treasury and the EBRD in January signed a donor fund agreement to support what they called “socially important projects.”