GPH, the only operator of three leading commercial and cruise ports in Turkey, has been awarded the concession agreement for 30 years to repair, finance, operate and maintain the general freight and cargo terminal in the city of Bar, Montenegro as the winner of the tender held jointly by the Montenegro Ministry of Transport&Maritime and the Montenegro Port Authority. In a ceremony held on the Bar Port on November 15th 2013, a Turkish company for the first time acquired a majority stake in an international port.
GPH brought 62% of the Port of Bar into its portfolio for a total cost of c. Euro30mn. The acquisition is the first investment of GPH abroad as well as being the first ever Turkish acquisition of a controlling stake in an overseas port operation.
Aims to expand abroad
Mr. Narin indicated that the shipping industry entered a new era with the addition of the Bar Port into the GPH portfolio. He also added that GPH, having focused on organic growth and consolidation of its existing ports for the past three years, was now ready to press the button to become one of the leading commercial port operators regionally and the number one cruise operator globally with a total passenger traffic of 3.5mn.
Narin said “We have been targeting organic growth till now while revamping efficiency, systems and marketing processes in our Turkish ports. Having also successfully integrated our three ports, we are currently focusing on inorganic growth. We aim to add new ports, domestic and international into our portfolio. In that vein, we acquired 62% of the Port of Bar and more acquisitions are on the way.
The truck traffic will shift to Bar
Narin underlined that the Port of Bar had a throughput of 35.000-40.000 containers in an area of 400.000-450.000sqmt yet it could expand up to 1mn containers as a result of some infrastructure works to be carried.
Narin continued: "We aim to direct the Serbian traffic back to the port to increase utilization. There is a railway to the port which is not very active, we will utilize this railway more actively. Also, the Port of Bar will be able to serve the European countries in the vicinity. Of course, I should add that some portion of the truck traffic from Turkey to Europe and from Europe to Turkey will shift to the Bar Port. Additionally, the Port has very large warehouses; we aim to build a logistics center around these. Finally, the Port has a potential to become a new route for the cruise ships. Therefore, we plan to build a cruise pier in the Port. We will contribute to the economy of the country with the cruise pier as well."