STA, 17 April 2020 - Infrastructure Minister Jernej Vrtovec has approved a 50% reduction in port fees for Luka Koper, the operator of Slovenia's only seaport. Talking to the press as he visited the port on Friday, Vrtovec said that this "discount" would remain in place until September and would be extended if necessary.
The goal is to preserve the port's competitive edge in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, with CEO Dimitrij Zadel expressing satisfaction with the move. Vrtovec believes the reduction in fees will attract international shipping companies.
Zadel said that similar measures to increase the competitive edge had also been introduced at other ports and that this brought the Koper port on par with others. Vrtovec also praised the company for taking adequate precautionary measures, as none of its workers had tested positive for Covid-19.
Moreover, the ministry will also approve subsidies for railway transport in short, similar to other countries, said Vrtovec.
The minister also commented on the construction of a second rail track to the port, confirming that the ministry was looking into the possibility of folding 2TDK, a special vehicle company established for the construction and management of the new track, into Slovenske Železnice, the national railway operator.
However, a definitive answer to this will be possible only after analyses are performed and Slovenske Železnice and other key players are consulted, in about a month or two.
Vrtovec dismissed information that Hungary may join the second track project, saying no talks were taking place, but he underlined the importance of countries in the hinterland for the development of Luka Koper.
In terms of the coronavirus epidemic measures, Vrtovec would not say when public transport may be relaunched. He said however that the government may decide as early as today that vehicle inspection services reopen on Monday.