The Port of Gdansk will complete key projects in its €1.3Bn (US$1.5Bn) investment programme in 2021
The improvements, which number almost 40 projects, are long-term efforts to establish the Port of Gdansk as a pre-eminent port in the Baltic with access to 120M people reaching across Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus and Scandinavia.
The port’s president Łukasz Greinke said the port continues to inch towards expanding cargo handling capacity to more than 60M tonnes within five years in an effort to compete with the deep seaports of western Europe. In 2020, the port managed around 48.5M tonnes despite the global economic slowdown. The deepwater port DCT Gdansk saw a dip in container volumes in 2020, but remains the only port in the Baltic capable of receiving direct calls from Asia, including from the biggest ships in the world.
“The investments in the inner and outer ports enable us to offer a faster, more efficient and more competitive service,” he said, adding “Our ultimate goal is to position Gdansk as a key logistics hub for countries across central and eastern Europe at the heart of global supply chains. The Port of Gdansk is now an important industrial centre and wholesale and distribution hub with comprehensive intermodal transport links. These investments will encourage more production companies interested in obtaining goods from the port, such as raw materials or components for production, to invest here.
The €163M (US$198M) extension and modernisation of the road and rail network at the outer port is due for completion mid-2021. Mr Greinke said “In total, it will see 7.2 km of roads, 10 km of new rail tracks and seven engineering structures built or rebuilt. This will make it much more efficient for rail, car and truck traffic to reach the terminals with four prime tasks carried out: the expansion of the communications system; the expansion of access to DCT Gdansk, the largest container terminal on the Baltic Sea; the reconstruction of roads around the north port; and the construction of a parking lot for trucks.”
The inner port investment, valued at €125M (US$152M), is focused on modernising and deepening the fairway, expanding the quays and improving navigation conditions to improve the accessibility and navigational safety to the inner part of the port for larger ships.
Mr Greinke said “After completion of the investment in the second half of 2021, the port channel will gain in width and depth allowing access to a wider range of vessels. The expansion of the quays will further enable the extension of mooring lines. The total length of the modernised quays is almost 5 km, and the fairway is 7 km.”
“The performed works concern both the reloading quays, such as Oliwskie quay and the OPP quay, as well as the reconstruction of the quays which do not fulfill the reloading functions, such as Zbożowe quay and Wisłoujście. These are the necessary investments to allow the deepening of the fairway. Dredging works and the partial reconstruction of the quays are carried out on a section of approximately 7 km, from the entrance heads to the inner port to the turning basin at Polski Hak, behind the Kashubian Canal."
In H2 2021, a further €43M (US$52M) will be spent on Dworzec Drzewny quay in the inner port to establish it as a transhipment quay capable of receiving much larger ships, bringing them right into port.
Mr Greinke said the investments will help facilitate the development of plans for a floating storage and regasification unit LNG terminal in the Bay of Gdansk to be built in partnership between the Port of Gdansk, Gas System, Poland’s state gas pipeline operator and the Maritime Office in Gdynia.
The investments are driven by a group of public and private organisations working in partnership, including the Port of Gdansk, the Maritime Office Gdynia, a Government agency managing the Gulf of Gdansk, PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe (the Polish railway infrastructure manager), as well as businesses based in the port. Mr Greinke said the most important projects are 85% co-financed by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility instrument.