New terminal backs Wismar growth push

Wismar builds to attract more Baltic business Wismar builds to attract more Baltic business

Wismar has begun operation of a new multi-functional handling terminal, writes Tom Todd.

The 47,000 m2 terminal boasts a 332m long quayside on 11.5m of water with two berths for ships up to 40,000dwt and 294m. Previously ships of up to only 240m have been able to berth in Wismar.

The new rail and road linked facility is part of a port development programme which is costing a reported €44 million overall and is one of the biggest investment projects ever in the port of Wismar. The German Government and the coastal state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (MV) have put up more than €30 million of the cost.

Officials said the new terminal opened up possible new overseas markets and also strengthened the port’s ability to compete and its significance as a maritime location. MV Minister for Infrastructure Development Christian Pegel said Wismar was “an important interface not only for Baltic traffic between Scandinavia and Central Europe but also for East-West traffic from Russia and the Baltic”.

The former GDR port, located midway between busy rivals Lübeck in the west and Rostock to the east, was left somewhat out on a limb after German unification in 1990 and needs to boost business. In 2017 it reported about seven million tons in sea and land handling sectors. Traditional salts and potash account for a quarter of that but timber expansion is also reported under consideration.

Work on the new terminal began in 2015. Some 260 sheet piles - 28m long, 1.4m wide and weighed 8-9 tons apiece - were driven to create the new quayside, 80 m from the existing shoreline. The area behind the new quay edge was then reclaimed and filled in.

A consortium grouping German civil engineering company Ed Züblin and specialist hydraulic engineering concern Colcrete, handled the hydraulic steel construction and floating dredge work with other contract firms.

In a related development, German authorities have pledged to consider funding the deepening of the port’s approach channel. That would facilitate the floating out of big new cruise ships from the MVW Shipyard, created some three years ago in Wismar and two other east German locations by Asian investors.

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