Dubai based company to operate Serbian port

Port of Novi Sad. Credit: DP World

P&O Ports, a shipping and ports services provider based in Dubai, had signed a public-private partnership (PPP) agreement with the Serbian government to operate the port of Novi Sad, Serbia.

Novi Sad port is situated on a 24-hectare site on the Danube river, with an estimated throughput of around 1 million tons per year. Novi Sad was the last government-operated port left in Serbia.

The PPP agreement will grant P&O Ports the exclusive rights to all waterside operations, container handling, project cargo, and fertiliser activities.

The development plan is to expand the current 500-m-long quay by constructing 189 m of new vertical quay wall, install new handling equipment, refurbish the existing machinery, and install a new terminal operating system.

The existing quay already provides warehouse facilities, storage of bulk cargo and general cargo connections to the national railway network. P&O Ports will work jointly with the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure to examine the possibility of constructing container terminals in the port.

The PPP agreement is part of a long-term investment plan to upgrade equipment and services and create an intermodal terminal and logistics centre with rail, road and inland waterway links to connect Serbia to the rest of Europe.

Under the terms of the deal, P&O Ports will have the right to operate the port for 25 years with an option for renewal on expiry. The port operator rights for the port of Novi Sad come about after an memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed last year between deputy prime minister Zorana Mihajlovic and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, chairman of P&O Ports.

Following the signing of the MoU, Bin Sulayem said, “the Port of Novi Sad provides connections with DP World Constanza in Romania, with onward handling of bulk cargos in Jebel Ali Port in Dubai. It also has capacity to connect with our operations elsewhere adding value to customers and our partners in getting goods to local, regional and international markets.”