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Port of Gdansk reports key stages of €1.3 billion infrastructure improvement plan will complete in 2021

The Port of Gdansk is announcing today that key projects within the largest investment programme in its history, covering €1.3 billion of infrastructure investments, will be completed in 2021.

Port of Gdansk President Łukasz Greinke said the improvements, which number almost 40 projects, are a giant leap forward as it seeks to establish its position as the pre-eminent Baltic port with access to a hinterland and foreland of 120 million people reaching across Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Ukraine, Belarus and Scandinavia.

Mr Greinke said the investments focus on the ‘Inner Port’ and ‘Outer Port’ areas and are crucial to its ambition to compete with the deep seaports of Western Europe and grow cargo handling capacity to more than 60million tonnes within five years. He said this target remains on course after the port rebounded strongly to the covid crisis managing around 48.5million tonnes of cargo in 2020, despite the global slowdown. The robust performance means Gdansk is now officially in the top 20 biggest ports in Europe for the first time.

Mr Greinke said the investments, which are in various stages of completion, are being 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, and PKP Polskie Linie Kolejowe the Polish railway infrastructure manager, as well as businesses based in the port. He said the most important and largest investments are being 85 per cent co-financed by the European Union through the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) instrument.

“This massive infrastructure programme sends a positive message to shipping lines, freight forwarders and businesses across our hinterland,” he said. “The Port of Gdansk is investing, improving and growing. There is a passionate shared vision here to make Gdansk the ‘gateway to the Baltic’ and we are supported by a wide range of stakeholders from across Government as well as partner businesses and investors. The investments in the Inner and Outer Ports enable us to offer a faster, more efficient and more competitive service. And we have proven this year that our ability to handle all types of cargo makes us agile, resilient and highly attractive to a wide range of businesses. 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.”

Port of Gdansk President Łukasz Greinke

Mr Greinke said a very important investment due to complete in mid-2021 is the €163million (736 million zloty) extension and modernization of the road and rail network at the Outer Port.

“This investment will streamline transport into and out of the port,” he 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 communication system, the expansion of access to Deepwater Container Terminal (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.”

Mr Greinke said the Inner Port investment is valued at €125million (570 million zloty) and is focused on the modernization of the fairway as well as the expansion of quays and the improvement of navigation conditions in the Inner Port.

“As part of this investment, the fairway will be deepened and most of the quays will be modernized, which will improve the accessibility and safety of navigation to the inner part of the Port of Gdansk for larger ships,” he 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 modernized 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.”

Mr Greinke said another important investment in the Inner Port of more than €43million (196 million zl), also due to complete in the second half 2021, is the reconstruction of the Dworzec Drzewny Quay.

“After this investment, Dworzec Drzewny Quay will become a transshipment quay, enabling it to receive much larger ships bringing them right into the Inner Port,” he said. “Most of the dredging work on the fairway has already been completed. Currently, intensive work is underway on the reconstruction of the quays. A significant part of these tasks has already been performed or is in the decisive phase of implementation.”

Port of Gdansk modernized OPP Quay and Siark Port investment

Mr Greinke said the investments in the Inner and Outer Ports will also help facilitate the development of plans for a floating storage and regasification unit (FSRU) 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.

“This very significant project moved a step closer when we signed a tripartite letter of intent with Gaz-System, and the Maritime Office in Gdynia in September,” he said. “Gaz-System will play a leading role and will decide where and when to build the LNG terminal. We support this initiative because it is a completely new cargo group for the Port of Gdansk and it can help us become one of the biggest ports in Europe generating millions of tonnes of LNG for reloading having a direct impact on increasing the number of transshipment operations within the port. It is also going to be a great opportunity for a range of businesses and organisations in the region, which will be able to source the raw material for their own processes through our port. The greatest advantage of the project is efficiency, because regasification of 1 m3 of LNG creates 600 m3 of gaseous product. Our joint investment will contribute to the energy independence of our country. It should also be added that in our region, this type of regasification unit, called ‘Independence’ has been already successfully used since 2014 by Lithuanians at the Port of Klaip da.”

The Port of Gdansk reported in November it had handled 36.2million tonnes in the first three quarters of the year to September and was on course to handle the same amount of cargo it did in 2018 and just under 52.2million tonnes it managed in 2019.

The port said the strong tonnage levels are testament to its agile set-up and infrastructure which enables it to transport cargo of all types adapting to changing market conditions. This includes imports of ore which have soared by 6344 per cent to September and grain volumes which have spiked by 174pc while other bulk cargos are up by nearly a quarter. The three cargo types have picked up the slack of reduced demand for fuel and coal across the port’s hinterland and foreland. The port reported that DCT Gdansk, as with many container ports, had seen a dip in container volume in 2020 but remains in a strong position as the only port on the Baltic capable of receiving direct calls from Asia, including from the biggest ships in the world. Major shipping lines operating regular calls to Gdansk include the Ocean Alliance, 2M as well as offering short sea connections to key trading areas like Scandinavia and the UK with Maersk, MSC, CMA, Cosco.

The Port of Gdansk is a major international transportation hub situated in the central part of the southern Baltic coast, which ranks among Europe’s fastest growing regions. According to the strategy of European Union the Port of Gdansk plays a significant role as a key link in the Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 1 connecting the Nordic countries with Southern and Eastern Europe. The Port of Gdansk is comprised of two principal sections with naturally diverse operational parameters: the inner port stretched along the Dead Vistula and the port canal, and the outer port affording direct access to the Gulf of Gdansk. The inner port offers a comprehensive range of terminals and facilities designed to handling containerised cargo, passenger ferries and Ro-Ro vessels, passenger cars and citrus fruit, sulphur, phosphorites and other bulk. The other quays fitted with versatile equipment and infrastructure are universal in use and enable the handling of conventional general as well as bulk cargo such as rolled steel products, oversize and heavy lifts, grain, artificial fertilizers, ore and coal. The outer port performs its operations on piers, quays and cargo handling jetties situated immediately on the waters of the Gulf of Gdansk. This section of the port offers state-of-the-art facilities suited to handling energy raw materials such as liquid fuels, coal and liquefied gas. The outer port also accommodates modern Deepwater Container Terminal. Visit: www.portgdansk.pl

DCT Gdansk container terminal enables Poland to be connected to the world’s largest shipping trade-lane; between Europe and Asia. A vital piece of investment ensuring that Polish goods can trade with Asia more efficiently, reducing cost, providing more competitive delivery times and a lower carbon footprint per container than alternative ports.

DCT does not just serve Poland but is also one of the most efficient ways to serve the Baltic Sea market via transshipment and is also the most cost competitive way to serve the hinterland markets of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Belarus and Western Ukraine.

In 2018 DCT Gdansk handled over 1.9m TEU (20-foot equivalent unit), with direct calls by the largest ships afloat. DCT Gdansk is the only terminal in the Baltic Sea capable of handling ships of this size. DCT Gdansk exceeded 2.0m TEU in 2019.

With a track-record of continuous development and expenditure in terminal infrastructure and modern handling equipment, DCT Gdansk is also actively involved in environmental and local community initiatives, recognizing the role of terminals in sustainable socio-economic development.

DCT was acquired in 2019 by the Singapore based PSA Group, one of the largest port operators in the world with a shareholding by the Polish Government investment arm PFR and Australian investment fund IFM.
Source: Port of Gdansk

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