Prime Minister Dritan Abazović told Feral.bar that it is possible for the unified Port of Bar to get a new operator „but one that will put it on the world port map“.
When asked by Feral.bar, what are the Government’s plans with the repeatedly announced liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal inside the port, and what is the possibility of a gas power plant being built in the Port of Bar, which was also mentioned, Abazović said that the intention is to LNG terminal Port of Bar becomes an important energy hub.
For the realization of these plans, Abazović emphasized, it is crucial for the state to unite the Port of Bar “because it is a critical infrastructure”.
– We have the ambition to install an LNG terminal in the Port of Bar, which would mean that the Port will also become an energy hub. It would mean a completely new value and generate new jobs, it would be geostrategically placed on a different basis, and we continue to do that. We are in contact with several renowned companies that are interested in this, mostly from the USA and one from Great Britain. They are all from the Euro-Atlantic world and that is very important – the Prime Minister told Feral.bar during the working visit of the Government delegation to Bar.
Abazović pointed out that the LNG terminal and the gas power plant inside the Port of Bar are two different projects
– The terminal and the gas power plant can be connected, so that one company works on both projects, but I think it is more realistic to talk about the LNG terminal at this moment. If it turns out to be a successful project, and then it is connected with a gas-powered power plant, it would be phenomenal and a significant production of electricity for our citizens – he said.
The LNG terminal is intended only as a place where gas is kept, from where it is transported by ship or land.
– We are currently not part of the gas network, but the surrounding countries are significant users of gas – added the Prime Minister.
When asked by Feral.bar whether this government was contacted by strategic investors interested in the unified port, Abazović answered in the affirmative, noting that they are large global operators.
– Back in the previous government, there were those contacts that continued with the two or three largest operators in container traffic. The most important thing is that Montenegro must strategically unify the port and it is very important that it be state-owned because it is a critical infrastructure. This was certainly not thought about before, because if it had been, we would not be in this situation now. Can the united port and the state as full owner include an operator, yes, but he must come with a project and it must be an operator who will put the Port of Bar on the world port map. That is the end of the story, the “change of the game” that I deeply believe will happen, that it will be the motivation for the modernization of the railway and bringing the highway to Bar, and that will change the whole of Montenegro – said the Prime Minister.
As he stated, we cannot bring a large operator to the port if it does not have the infrastructure to transport goods.
– Because if someone thinks that someone needs a port to transport goods for 600,000 inhabitants, then he doesn’t understand business. We want to be the owners of that “mine” and thus have the greatest benefits for the entire state and all the citizens of Bar and Montenegro, but, of course, some operations or something else where we do not have enough knowledge or skills, we may cede to someone else to implements – said Abazović.