Against the colourful background of the Novalja City Day celebration, the upgraded Žigljen ferry port was put into service today. At the opening ceremony, the delegation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia was headed by the Vice President of the Government and Minister of the Sea, Transport and Infrastructure Oleg Butković.
The reconstruction and extension of the Žigljen ferry port, well-known to regular travellers to the island of Pag, was financed by Butković’s ministry through a public tender for co-financing the improvement of port infrastructure used in coastal liner shipping.
Žigljen ferry port is the home of the short but extremely important ferry line 335 Prizna – Žigljen. The ferry is the main connection between the island of Pag and the mainland, transporting approximately one million passengers and 400,000 vehicles annually, which is why it was imperative that it continued to operate for the entire construction period.
The upgrade required two and a half years of construction, from November 2020 to March this year, as well as 9.74 million euros. The amount was fully provided by the Ministry in the form of grants from the Cohesion Fund and the state budget, awarded to the Port Authority of Novalja, which manages the ferry port.
Žigljen can now accommodate up to three 120-metre ferries
The works included the extension, i.e. upgrade and reconstruction of terminals 1, 2 and 3 for the reception of ferries. Ferry terminal 1 was provided with a mooring accommodating 120-metre ferries, terminal 2 has been extended by 56.0 m, and the entrance to the bay on terminal 3 has been widened. These interventions were made to enable docking and ease manoeuvring for longer ferries.
The purpose of the project is to provide the residents of Pag with a safer line connection to the mainland, either by using the connection 335 Prizna-Žigljen with existing vessels, or through access to larger capacity vessels that are safer for navigation in bad weather.
Every year brings a host of reports about the interruption of the Prizna-Žigljen ferry line, due to the strong bora wind disrupting traffic in the Velebit Channel. From now on, the residents of Pag and their guests should weather the storms more readily.