Zarija Franović, Executive Director (CEO) Of “Port Of Bar”:

We’re Protecting Our Leading Position

“Port of Bar”, “Luka Bar”, is a leader in setting new standards of quality, professionalism, reliability and competitiveness in the field of port services for the handling and storage of liquid and bulk cargo in the region of Southeast Europe, and it wants to retain this status.

We are led by one of the key principles of the business strategy – “continuous improvement”. We invest in equipment, machinery, the technology of work, staff training and environmental protection, in order to position ourselves as a port of regional significance.

You received the prestigious Brand Leader Award. Can there be more and better than this?

– I’m extremely proud of this award. Apart from representing recognition for our work, it also obliges us to work more and better. I have in my sights (*I am aware of) evident potential for the further improvement of work technologies, increasing labour productivity, modernising equipment, reducing the harmful impact of transhipment operations on the environment… The basic component of the general improvement plan is a continuous advancement in the knowledge and skills of employees, all with the goal of positioning “Port of Bar” as a port of regional significance.

Apart from working on the growth of cargo handling, you are also concentrating on changing the structure of cargo, bringing in new goods, making the Free Zone fully functional… You have a big job ahead of you…

– We have already started getting to grips with this big job – intensive activities are underway aimed at increasing the level of utilisation of the potentials of the Free Zone of “Port of Bar”, with the goal of bringing tangibility to the stated intentions of companies interested in investing in the development of production and trade activities, in accordance with the provisions of the spatial-planning documentation for the territory of the port.

Fortunately, we have the full support of the Government of Montenegro and the relevant ministries and institutions in overcoming difficulties and many years of accumulated problems. The entire Port of Bar is a Free Zone, and the rate of utilisation of its capacities stands at 72 percent. In recent months, we have been very much focused on the Free Zone, because it is extremely important – not only for “Port of Bar”, but for the city of Bar itself, and for the state of Montenegro as well.

Increasing the level of utilisation of the Port of Bar’s potential is slowed due to the inadequate quality of infrastructure connections with the surrounding region (*countries).

Do the existing personnel structure, technical equipment and organisation of work atPort of Bar comply with stringent international standards?

– The personnel structure and technical equipment are still not at a satisfactory level, though a lot has been done in the last few months. Alongside intensive work on maximising the value of existing potentials, activities are also underway aimed at increasing the capacity for the transhipment and storage of dry bulk cargo (silos for bulk cement), the capacity for handling and storing liquid cargo (petroleum derivatives, acetic acid), capacities for loading and storing natural gas etc. We have made significant procurements of new equipment and machinery, and we are currently doing a lot to improve the electrical, water, road and rail infrastructure of the port area. We are investing heavily in developmental capacities.

What do you expect from the announced construction of the South Adriatic-Belgrade Highway? How much would that mean to you

– Increasing the level of utilisation of “Port of Bar”’s potential is slowed due to the inadequate quality of infrastructure connections with the surrounding region (*countries). We expect a lot from the construction of the Bar-Belgrade Highway, which should eliminate existing restrictions. Of course, this would also satisfy conditions for improving connections with ports along the Danube and the network of pan-European transport corridors.