LUKA KOPER, d.d., Koper
Pannonia Distribution Centre
Beltinci, Slovenia, 21st March, 2008.
Today Beltinci Castle in Northeast Slovenia was the venue for the formal signing of a letter of intent on the establishment of the Pannonia Regional Distribution Centre. In addition to Mr Robert Časar, President of Luka Koper Management Board, the co-signatories were Mr Andrej Vizjak, Slovenia's Minister of Economy, Mr Janez Podobnik, Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Mr Radovan Žerjav, Minister of Transport, Mr Milan Kerman, Mayor of Beltinci Municipality, and Mr Anton Balažek, the Mayor of Lendava Municipality.
The concept behind the establishment of this new international logistics and distribution centre in Slovenia's Prekmurje region is a consequence of Luka Koper 's growing requirements, and the fact that Slovene Pomurje lies directly between the company's most important markets - Austria and Hungary. The centre will also allow Luka Koper to supply customers in both these territories in accordance with the just-in-time principle; furthermore, shippers servicing the aforementioned markets via the Port of Koper have exhibited a huge interest in this idea from the very outset.
The regular year-on increases in the volumes of cargo being handled by Koper, market requirements for the provision of integrated logistics services, as well as the ongoing need to reduce costs, are challenges to which Luka Koper has responded through the strategic decision to establish a network of inland terminals, both within Slovenia and abroad. The past year has witnessed the ongoing development of the European Distribution Centre in Sežana, adjacent Slovenia's frontier with Italy, and in much the same way as Sežana, the Pannonia inland terminal at Beltinci - which also lies on the Fifth European Transport Corridor - shall facilitate the ever-growing trade between the East and West Europe. "The document we are signing today is not only important to Luka Koper, but also opens new perspectives for Pomurje. I am absolutely positive about this. The Pannonia Distribution Centre will undoubtedly promote and advance regional commerce and development", affirmed the Luka Koper Management Board President, Mr Robert Časar.
The ideal 60-hectare site located at the old Lek plant in Lipovci near Beltinci, already meets a great many of the necessary communications and infrastructure requirements. The Pannonia terminal will encompass enclosed and open storage facilities, two rail sidings linked to the nearby main line to Hungary, truck parking, maintenance workshops and administrative premises. The anticipated investment in the purchase of this land and construction of the requisite infrastructure shall amount to some € 20 million, and the Centre's development will be similar to the Sežana one, i.e. the storage facilities will be built according to the requirements of business partners. We expect annual cargo throughput will reach 30,000 TEUs (some 600,000 tonnes of goods) per annum within five years of its opening. This means also more free space and warehousing capacities in the port and will consequently enable more maritime throughput. The Distribution Center will take over about 10% of the total container traffic of Luka Koper. Construction work at Beltinci will commence immediately upon the acquisition of all permits, most likely during the second half of 2009.
Another facility at the border crossing to Hungary at nearby Lendava is also anticipated to become part of the Pannonia operation. This 30-hectare site is particularly interesting due to its already constructed but unexploited infrastructure. The development of the Lendava site, however, is directly dependant on the construction of the second railway connection with Hungary.
The Pannonia Centre will provide the Pomurje region with new economic impetus, and opportunities for growth and development. Upon completion of the first phase, the Centre will employ some 200 people, and an additional 100 in the second phase. Indirectly, the Pannonia Centre will engender the employment of an even a larger number of people by bringing private and ancillary businesses - such as forwarding agents, hauliers and caterers - to the area. At the same time the transport of trucks via the railhead will significantly relieve road traffic.
The signatures of three ministers under the letter of intent is not merely an indication of their support and vindication of this project, but also a commitment that the acquisition of the requisite consents by state authorities will be free of unnecessary complications. Through the signatures of their respective mayors, the municipalities of Beltinci and Lendava are also committed to ensuring that all the necessary documents and permits shall be prepared in the shortest time possible. At the same time Luka Koper, as the investor, is committed to complete the construction of the terminal facilities in compliance with the adopted concept.
This information will be available on company's web site www.luka-kp.si from 21st March 2008 on.
Date: 21. 3. 2008