The Port Authority of Ploče is a public nonprofit organization that manages Croatia’s largest port, Port of Ploče, with this project marking the first step towards it becoming the first smart port in Croatia connected by a 5G network. This implies process automation and sensors that will change the way the port works, all with the aim of adding to the competitiveness of the Port of Ploče and further reducing the port’s carbon footprint.
“Our task is to strategically develop the port of Ploče by investing in infrastructure, in order to maximize the level of competitiveness in the changing geopolitical circumstances. Technology is now an indispensable component of this, and 5G, due to its technical characteristics, represents a major step forward and a turning point in processes and operations”, said Tomislav Batur, Director of the Port Authority of Ploče, which oversees management, construction, and use of the port of Ploče.
“The global smart port market is growing rapidly and some projections show that it will be worth $5.7 billion by 2027, a threefold increase in just five years. This trend is the result of growing traffic and pressure to increase the efficiency of port operations, as well as the need to reduce CO2 emissions. The Port of Ploče is the largest Croatian port, and thanks to this [project] it will soon be the first Croatian smart port, connected by a 5G network”, said Hrvoje Livaja, President of the Management Board of Luka Ploče d.d., which has a concession in the port area.
The company Markoja, leading Croatian provider of network and infrastructure telecommunications solutions, is providing a private 5G Standalone (SA) network as part of the project, which is a prerequisite for the implementation of technologies such as AI, computer vision and video analytics, augmented/virtual reality (AR/VR), and remote control of drones and other machines. The aim is to increase the level of digitalization and automation of port business processes through greater work safety and more efficient operations in line with ESG criteria.
As the owner of the 5G spectrum at the regional level in nine counties of the Republic of Croatia, Markoja plans to actively participate in creating a market of private 5G networks for various industry verticals and smart communities. We are proud that the European Commission has recognized the innovation of this project, which will positively affect the implementation of 5G technology both in Croatia and throughout the European Union. Although the application process for the fund itself is technically and administratively demanding, we are grateful that we could count on such reliable partners and achieve a successful result in a short period of time.Boris Markoja, Director and Board Member, Markoja d.o.o.
This is one of the two projects co-financed in Croatia, out of the 42 approved projects from 18 Member States in which 260 million euros in total will be invested. Also, this is the only project from Croatia to be approved by the European Commission under the 5GSC fund out a total of 14 approved across the EU.