Doubling the port capacity of historic Rijeka

18 September 2019

At the end of the silk road lies the historic city of Rijeka, where Holcim Croatia overcame a series of challenges to double the port’s capacity.


With a cement plant in Koromacno, three aggregate quarries and three ready-mix plants, one of them in Rijeka, Holcim Croatia was the ideal partner to help the city accommodate its growing importance to both tourism and trade. They partnered with the Port Authority and an expert consortium (comprised of GLF, Nuova Co.ed.mar and Maltauro) to realize the project successfully.

Innovating for success

No matter how closely situated, maritime job sites always present special challenges. Holcim technicians worked together with project partners to produce a specific mix design, then tested it in the field on a 1:1 scale model of one caisson. Subsequently, 49 cellular caissons were prefabricated and installed, involving about 55,000 cubic meters of concrete. The caissons were prefabricated in Rijeka with a sliding formwork on one of GLF’s floating plants, which was specially mobilized from Italy and moored in the port of Rijeka. This kind of construction technology requires both the availability of concrete that conforms to the technical requirements of the specifications and the accessory features required for the particular type of construction of the caissons. In the end, Holcim Croatia moved 580,000 tonnes of special aggregates to provide the undersea foundations that host the caissons. 

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Ready for the spotlight

The first phase of the extension is now complete and includes the construction of a 400-meter long quay, with a depth of 20 meters and a 12 hectare container yard. The second phase will extend the quay by an additional 280 meters and in a potential third phase the total length could reach 1,250 meters. The total investment for the first two phases is EUR 188m. Rijeka is now the only Adriatic port that can accept container ships with 14,000 containers. The achievement was celebrated in a grand ceremony in May 2019. The port opening is just one of the many changes underway as the city prepares for the spotlight as Europe’s capital of culture next year.

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