The EU has awarded grants to the Port of Gdansk in Poland totalling more than €140 million for three major projects at the port. Two of these projects are to improve road and rail transport links but the third will be a major upgrading of the Inner Port including deepening of the fairway and quay upgrades.

There will be a comprehensive expansion of the Oliwskie Quay (Photo: Port of Gdansk)

There will be a comprehensive expansion of the Oliwskie Quay (Photo: Port of Gdansk)

The port upgrading is the largest of these projects amounting to €110 million. This has been divided into five tasks with the deepening and widening of the main fairway the first, to be followed by upgrading work at four of the major quays in the port. The dredging work will see the width of the fairway increased to 90 metres and its depth increased to 12 metres over the section from the entry breakwater heads to the Chemikow Quay. Further upstream the width will be increased to 75 metres and the depth to 10.8 metres in the Przemyslowe Quay area

It is estimated that a total of 1.5 million cubic metres will need to be dredged to achieve these new widths and depths. Included in the dredging works will be increases in the sizes of the turning areas of the Inner Port including the turning area right at the entry to the port canal located near the duty free zone. In this area the turning circle will be enlarged from 170 to 180m and in the Gorniczy Basin area it will be increased from 180 to 200m. The largest turning area in this part of the port, near Ostrow Island will be increased from 300 to 315m.

The profile of the fairway will also be modified as part of this work and where possible, turns will become more gentle, which will improve the navigating conditions for vessels moving along the fairway. Dredging work will also be directly related to the improvement of the condition of the quays located along the fairway, allowing deeper depths directly by the quay walls and changing the nature of some of them, including turning scarped quays into parking and handling ones.

The planned work will be preceded by relevant demolition work. The expansion of the quays will involve the installation of new steel sheet piling in front of the existing structures and setting a reinforced concrete pile cap on it. The quays will be equipped with new devices enabling safe vessel mooring and handling including fender and mooring lines, power supply systems, water supply and sewage systems and rescue equipment. The necessary dredging work, from the perspective of the future functioning of the quays, will be performed along the entire length of the expanded sections.

This type of investment work will be performed as part of the expansion of the Obroncow Poczty Polskiej Quay which is currently used mainly to handle aggregate, fuel and base oils and granulated sulphur. The new structure of the quay will improve its technical parameters and it will be extended from its current length of 345 metres to 391 metres. The depth at the quay will also be slightly increased to 11.2 metres which will make it possible to handle ships with a draft of up to 10.6 metres. After the modernisation is completed which will include increasing the loading capability of the quay, the Obroncow Poczty Polskiej Quay will be a universal one and will be able to accommodate the largest vessels able to enter the Inner Port or two smaller vessels.

There will be a comprehensive expansion of the Oliwskie Quay and the neighbouring Ziolkowskiego Quay along with the ferry terminal of the Polish Baltic Shipping Company which operated up till last year. Due to the location of both quays where the fairway curves, the arrangement of the quay line will be changed and, as a result, rectilinear berths will be created. This will allow the clearance of the fairway along this section to be broadened and at the same time, the technical parameters of both quays will be improved, making it possible to handle ships with a draft of up to 10.6 metres at the Oliwskie Quay, and up to 9.4 metres at the Ziolkowskiego Quay.

Work is also planned at the Zbozowe Quay which will be expanded. At the moment, it functions as the housing of the port canal bank (scarped quay) and here the investment is necessary in order to be able to achieve a deeper depth directly by the planned new sheet piling of the quay. At this section the broadened and deepened fairway will bring the edge of the expanded fairway much closer to the quay. Similar work will be performed at the Wisloujscie Quay which at the present time functions only as the housing of the port canal bank, but ultimately it will be able to moor and handle small vessels.

The Dworzec Drzewny Quay, which also currently functions as the housing of the port canal bank, will be converted back into a cargo quay. The line of the new quay will have a total length of about 1,221 metres. When the work is completed the quay will have been adapted to handle ships with a draft of up to 10.3 metres for 30,000 DWT ships and 10.6 m for 100,000 DWT ships which are partly loaded. Conversion work along this quay is limited by the fact that at the southern part of the quay there is the road tunnel below the Martwa Wisla, which makes it necessary to make this quay a light-duty one over the section in question. The quay will be used for the handling of a wide variety of general cargoes.

By Dag Pike