Major investment in Gdansk
The Port of Gdansk Authority is planning to spend around €1.76 billion in the improvement and development of facilities at this Polish port over the next 5 years, reports Dag Pike.
This will see the implementation of the largest ever investment program at the port both in terms of scope and expense.
The initial part of this programme will cover developments in both the inner and outer section of the port and will be funded with major grants from the EU with the balance coming from the budget of the Port of Gdansk Authority. Much of the development will be dependent on the release of EU funding but this part of this funding has already been released for major development work to take place on the facilities for the Inner Port.
INNER PORT DEVELOPMENTS
The Inner Port at Gdansk is based along the banks of the river that forms the basis of the port and which has been expanded and developed over the past centuries. Limitations on the draft and size of ships that can use this Inner Port led to the development of the outer port in recent years but now the initial development plans are to bring the Inner Port facilities up to modern standards. Some of these investment projects are already underway, such as the expansion of the intermodal container terminal at the Szczecinskie Quay, which by the end of this year will have standardised the handling capacity of the terminal.
Investment work is also in progress at the Oliwskie Quay near the entrance to the Inner Port, which will be thoroughly modernized both in terms of land and water access. On the right bank of the port, by the Coal Pier, investment is currently ongoing to strengthen 24 hectares at the base of the basin used by the largest ships calling at the port to load coal cargoes. This work is being organised so that it does not to interfere with the operation of the pier or obstruct the operation of the berth.
As part of the development of the Inner Port which is valued at €110 million is the reconstruction of 16 quay sections along the Inner Port with a total length of 5.8km. This work is necessary to support the planned deepening of the whole port channel, which aims to improve navigation conditions in this part of the port. Extensive dredging operations will see the main channel being widened to 90 metres in the fairway with a depth of 12 metres at low tide, ensuring efficient and safe navigation between the port entrance and the turning point at Stocznia Remontowa where the channel divides around an island.
Further upstream the Kashubian Channel will see dredging work carried out to enable a channel width of 75 metres which will be maintained to a depth of 10.8 metres. This dredging work will enable ships with a length up to 250 metres to use the main channel from the port entrance and ships with a length of 190 metres to carry on up the Kashubian Channel.
The electricity and power infrastructure at the port is also being modernised to meet increased demand. This will mean that medium voltage cabling will be installed under the port channel in order to link the energy systems on both sides of the Dead Vistula. As a result, the project will contribute to an improved efficiency of 30MW for the electricity supply at the port.
The Inner Port is a very important part of the port, which each year services around 2000 merchant ships, not to mention at least another thousand vessels which call at the port for other purposes or in transit. The Inner Port is also a key area from the point of view of ensuring a universal range of services. For example, last year nearly 70 different types of goods belonging to each of the six main cargo groups were handled here. This totalled 7.5 million tonnes in volume, nearly one quarter of the annual tonnage record for the whole port.
Increased trans-shipment which amounted to nearly 25 million tonnes of goods in 2014, the ongoing expansion of the terminal and the planned construction of new ones, naturally created a need to ensure the development and modernization of road and rail access infrastructure. The investment will include the construction and reconstruction of streets with a total length of 7.2 kilometres and rail tracks with a total length of 10 km.
In addition to the investments being made by the port authority it is anticipated that a further €1.5 billion will be invested over the next five years by companies operating in the areas of port. PERN is currently undertaking the construction of the oil oil terminal in the Outer port which is being developed in two stages. DCT Gdansk SA who is the current operator of the container terminal in the Outer Port is planning a second terminal alongside the existing one.
The PAGO company is building cold storage facilities at the port and the OT Logistics company has started work on constructing a deepwater terminal. Added to this is the expansion work being done by the Pomeranian Logistics Centre.
Investments to improve access to the port from the sea are also being planned by the Maritime Authority and these include modernisation of the entrance to the Inner Port as well as the modernisation of the breakwaters at the Northern Outer Port. Longer term there are plans for the development of the Central Port which will provide much need land areas and deepwater quays.
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