Ploče Port to Become First Croatian Smart Port

Lauren Simmonds

Ploče port smart port
Quahadi Añtó/Commons

December the 8th, 2023 – Ploče Port is set to get a 5G network and become the country’s very first smart port.

As Vecernji list/Tanja Ivancic writes, the Port Authority of Ploče and the company Markoja have received almost one million euros (958,125 euros to be more precise) from European Union (EU) funds to turn Ploče Port into Croatia’s very first 5G smart port.

The project called “Improving the public services of Ploče Port through the implementation of 5G connectivity” carried out by the Port Authority of Ploče and the Markoja enterprise was selected for co-financing by the European Commission (EC) in the amount of 958,125 euros as part of the second round of the CEF2 Digital call intended for the introduction of a secure, protected and sustainable 5G network in EU Member States.

The Port Authority of Ploče is otherwise a non-profit organisation that manages Ploče Port, the largest Croatian port, and this project represents the first step towards it becoming the first smart port in the entire country, also connected by a 5G network. This implies process automation and sensors that will change the way the port works, all with the aim of achieving additional competitiveness and further reducing the port’s carbon footprint.

Tech is unavoidable in the modern age

“Our task is to strategically develop Ploče Port by investing in infrastructure, in order to maximise the level of competitiveness in these rapidly changing geopolitical circumstances. In this day and age, technology is an irreplaceable component of all of that, and 5G, due to its technical characteristics, represents a great step forward and a turning point in our processes and operations”, said Tomislav Batur, the director of the Port Authority of Ploče, which operates in the aspects of management, construction and use of Ploče Port.

“The global market for smart ports is growing rapidly and some projections show that it will be worth 5.7 billion dollars by 2027, which represents threefold growth in a mere five years. The 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. Ploče Port is currently the largest Croatian port, and thanks to this, it will soon be the first ever Croatian smart port, which will be connected by a 5G network”, said Hrvoje Livaja, President of the Management Board of Luka (Port) Ploče d.d. which has a concession over the port area itself.

The company Markoja, a Croatian provider of network and infrastructure telecommunications solutions, provides a private 5G Standalone (SA) network as part of the project, which is a prerequisite for the implementation of smart technologies, all in accordance with stringent ESG criteria.

Markoja plans to participate in the creation of the private 5g network market

“As the owner of the 5G spectrum at the regional level in nine counties in Croatia, Markoja plans to actively participate in the creation of the market of private 5G networks for various industrial verticals and smart communities,” revealed Boris Markoja, the director and member of the Management Board of Markoja d.o.o.

This is otherwise one of two projects that are being co-financed in Croatia, out of a total of 42 approved projects from eighteen EU Member States, in which a total of 260 million euros will be invested. At the same time, this is the only project from Croatia that the European Commission approved as part of the 5GSC fund out of a total of fourteen approved projects throughout the European Union.


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