Corridor Vc connecting the Port of Ploče, the second largest international port in Croatia to major cities, mines, and heavy industrial centers in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) was generating significant, year-around, direct and indirect economic activity for southern Dalmatia in Croatia and BiH.
The direct economic activity was estimated at about US$19 million for the Port of Ploče, the Croatian railways, and other Croatian transport intermediaries. The indirect effect on the surrounding economy was estimated to be about 50 to 70 percent of direct activity. Therefore, Corridor Vc was providing an essential income source for this part of Croatia with limited economic activity aside from seasonal tourism.
As a consequence of the restructuring and privatization of the heavy industries in the process of being implemented at that time in BiH, the freight volumes carried along the
corridor were increasing very rapidly (from 1.3 million tons in 2003 to 2.8 million tons in 2005) as measured at its Croatian entry point in Ploče, but still were below the prewar level of 4.5 million tons. Container traffic was also increasing from 4,000 containers (twenty foot equivalent unit [TEU]) in 2001 to 17,000 containers in 2005, even though the port had no berth dedicated to container vessels, but only a roll-on roll-off and ferry berth. General cargo (steel/aluminum products, timber, and bananas) was expected to grow as BiH factories started to export finished metal products through the corridor. Containerized cargo along the corridor was also offering a good growth potential (with a target traffic of 40,000 TEU by 2010) based on an increase in both market size, related to regional economic growth prospects, and market share, coming from proper handling capacity and the opening of a motorway from Ploče to Split by 2008.
The overall development objective of the project was to develop trade along Corridor Vc by improving the capacity, efficiency, and quality of services on the southern end of Corridor Vc, with particular focus on the Port of Ploče and on coordination aspects among all corridor participants.
The Port Infrastructure Development component included the following subcomponents:
- construction of a new bulk cargo terminal (BCT) with an initial capacity of 4 million tons;
- construction of a container/multipurpose terminal with an initial capacity of 66,000 TEU; and
- construction/rehabilitation of the supporting port infrastructure (road, rail, water, wastewater, and power supply) within the port area, including a new entrance facility.
The Trade and Transport Integration component included the development and
rollout of a modern electronic PCS, integrating all members of the port community
(shipping lines, shipping agent, stevedoring companies, banks, rail, road transport, border agencies) into a seamless information system enabling accurate and timely exchange of information and automated processing, where appropriate. This component built on the detailed analysis of procedures and information flows being prepared under a Project Preparation Facility (PPF).
- necessary hardware (for example, servers, computers);
- networking costs;
- extensive training of users and administrators;
- technical services and
- security features.
The system was designed to facilitate integration of information flows along Corridor Vc by defining document exchange interfaces based on international standards, thus facilitating systematic performance measurement across the transport chain.