Yilport to upgrade Croatia’s Sibenik into a panamax terminal

Sibenik, an Adriatic port taken over by Turkey’s Yilport Holding as part of its acquisition of a Croatian fertiliser group, will be expanded to host large bulkers.

“The terminal will be dredged from 10 metres to 13 metres of draft to allow access for larger vessels up to panamax size,” Yilport said in a statement on Wednesday.

Yilport obtained Sibenik earlier this month as part of its acquisition of Petrokemija, Croatia’s largest fertiliser plant.

Being part of Petrokemija, Sibenik’s main purpose so far has been to handle fertiliser exports via three berths handling general cargo ships with a capacity of up to 50,000 tons.

Yilport Holding plans to turn Sibenik into a “multi-purpose terminal” through a €50m ($53.1m) three-stage programme that will include startup investments for Ro-Ro and liquid cargo services.

Apart from Petrokemija, Sibenik clients currently include bulk cargo and general cargo businesses in Croatia and Bosnia.

Aiming high
Sibenik is just the latest in a string of expansion moves by Yilport, which aims to be among the world’s 10 biggest container terminal operators by 2030.

The Robert Yuksel Yildirim-led company has onshore logistic centres, as well as 24 port terminals in Turkey, Portugal, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Ghana and across Latin America.

Last month Yilport said it plans to invest more than $700m in Takoradi Port in Ghana — its first investment in Africa.

Yildirim’s business group owns a 24% stake in French logistics giant CMA CGM.

That, however, doesn’t prevent Yilport and CMA CGM from making separate, and occasionally even competing, moves in the port business.

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