Dubai-based P&O Ports, a leading shipping and ports services provider, said it has signed a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with Serbian government to operate the country's Port of Novi Sad.
Under this deal, the Dubai group will retain exclusive rights to undertake all waterside operations, container handling, project cargo and fertilizer activities, said a statement from P&O Ports.
The Port of Novi Sad is located on a 24-hectare site on the Danube river and it is operated by the last remaining port operator in the country owned and operated by the government with an estimated throughput of around 1 million tons a year.
The current quay is 500-m-long and its features include cargo handling, warehousing facilities, storage of bulk cargo and general cargo connections to the national railway network.
The development plan will include construction of 189 m of new vertical quay wall, new silo capacities, new handling equipment and refurbishment of existing machinery plus installation of a terminal operating system.
In partnership with the Serbian Ministry of Construction, Transport and Infrastructure, the Dubai group will also study the possibility of construction of the container terminals.
The move comes as part of a long-term investment plan to upgrade equipment and services and to support the Serbian government’s strategy to create an intermodal terminal and logistics centre with rail, road and inland waterways links to the rest of Europe, it added.
This agreement grants P&O Ports a right to operate the Serbian port for an initial 25 years with an option to renew by both parties for another 25 years on expiry, said Dragan Stevanovic, State Secretary of the Ministry of Economy after signing the deal with P&O Ports CEO Rado Antolovic.
The SPA for obtaining the property rights on the capital and assets of the port operator of the Port of Novi Sad comes following a MoU signed last year by Deputy Prime Minister Zorana Mihajlovic and Sultan Ahmed Bin Sulayem, Chairman of P&O Ports.
After signing the MoU, Bin Sulayem said: "The Port of Novi Sad provides connections with DP World Constanza, Romania, with onward handling of bulk cargos in Jebel Ali Port, 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."
"There is also an opportunity to handle bulk commodities in the steel and construction sectors, food and coal," he stated.
According to him, this agreement is another example of P&O Ports strategy to provide further services across the global supply chain, creating efficiencies of its customers and supporting the development of nations.
"By linking with our operations across Europe we can provide further added value through Novi Sad," he added.-TradeArabia News Service