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Koper Port in New Deepening of Seabed

Koper, 12 May - The port of Koper will begin a new operation of dredging the seabed at its container terminal in the summer as part of efforts to accept some of the biggest container ships in the world.

The operator of the port, Luka Koper, announced on Tuesday that Van Oord of the Netherlands has applied to perform the work that will increase the maximum draught to 15 metres.

While the contract with Van Oord has not yet been concluded as the contracting procedures are still ongoing, the port operator expects the work to begin in the summer and be completed by September.

The Dutch company performed works last year to increase draught to 14 metres, which has allowed the port to accept its biggest container ships to date.

Luka Koper said that the new operation will further increase the competitiveness of the port in global shipping by responding to the use of increasingly large cargo vessels.

Following last year's dredging operation, the port has seen a rise in transshipment of around 3% in the first months of this year. In April it set a new monthly record for cargo moved at 1.8 million tonnes.

The port says that access to the port will not be affected by the operation, given that the contractor will be required to use the less invasive method of vacuum dredging.

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© STA, 2015