The dynamic recovery in the global maritime economy has had a huge impact on the intensification of development plans for the Gdansk port. Global technological progress has meant changes in the structure of demand for raw materials and finished products, with globalisation and economic growth translating into changes in the structure of national trade, lengthening supply chains and bringing changes in terms of the merchant fleets of the world, which in turn implies the need to adapt the port infrastructure to the changing environment.
In terms of new market challenges facing seaports, in 2014 the Port of Gdansk Authority SA completed work on its "Development Strategy of the Port of Gdansk until 2027", a document which is fully compatible with European and national policies relating to transport and seaports.
In today's world, ports are not only hubs connecting the maritime and land transportation, but are a key link in the global supply chain that generate added value. They are catalysts for regional and national economic development, around which powerful industrial and wholesale-distribution centres are created.
With these goals in mind, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA has, over recent years, focused its efforts on the development of a valuable port infrastructure aimed at meeting market expectations and allowing all users of this infrastructure the opportunity to conduct their business more effectively, as well as on the development of logistical capabilities, thereby building the competitive advantage of the port complex.
At the Port of Gdansk, in addition to the port authority, several different groups can be distinguished whose investments contribute to the expansion and the growing importance of the Gdansk port complex. These include the Maritime Office, the Municipality of Gdansk, the national road and rail infrastructure management as well as private investors. The estimated value of the investments completed at the Port of Gdansk in 2016 and planned to be carried out for a further period of 4 years - i.e. until 2020 - amounts to 2 billion euros.
The most important investments to be undertaken at the Port of Gdansk over the coming years include the development of access infrastructure at the Outer Port from the open water, which will include widening the existing fairway in this part of the port, the construction of new breakwaters and turntables that will meet the increasing movement of ships in the Outer Port that is projected for the coming years. This undoubtedly useful yet prohibitively costly investment will be undertaken by the Maritime Office, with the support of EU funds.
The investments carried out by the Maritime Office will be complemented by the improvement of access to the Port of Gdansk from inland waterways. The conversion of the fairway on Martwa Wisla and the construction of quays along Motlawa and Marwa Wisla will be continued in the coming years.
A further highly significant investment project is aimed at extending the quays along with the deepening of the fairway in the Inner Port. This investment to be carried out from 2016 until 2020 will be implemented by the Port of Gdansk Authority SA with the help of EU funding and will cover, among others, quays such as: Przemyslowe, Obroncow Westerplatte, Obroncow Poczty Polskiej, Oliwskie, Wisloujscie, Mew, Zbozowe and the Dworzec Drewny as well as the whole of the Inner Port fairway.
These projects are in conjunction with the strategic goal which is to achieve the target shape of the Inner Port fairway with a width of 90 m and a depth of 12 m, enabling efficient and safe navigation throughout the section from the port entrance to the turntable located near Ostrow Island and the fairway in the Kaszubian Channel with a width of 75 m.
Of considerable importance for further development of the port was also the investment undertaken by PKP PLK completed in 2016, the continuation of which is planned for the coming years and intended to be completed by 2020. To date, the undertaking included the modernisation of the railway line from the Gdansk Northern Port station to the Pruszcz Gdanski station and the construction of a railway bridge which is the most important element of the railway infrastructure providing rail access to the right bank of the port, including the Outer Port. This investment increased capacity by a factor of six thus creating real possibilities to provide a high efficient rail accessibility to this part of the port. In the coming years, projects undertaken by PKP PLK will focus on further improvement of rail access to the Port of Gdansk and will include the modernisation of the Port Polnocny station, the Kanal Kaszubski station, and the Zaspa Towarowa station with access to the Wislane Quay. Ultimately, the project will contribute to the optimisation of the railway system and its adjustment to the needs of the port and its contracting partners.
In the upcoming period, i.e. until 2020, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA together with the Municipality of the City of Gdansk is also planning to modernise and expand the road and rail network in the Outer Port bringing overland traffic to the terminals located in this part of the port. The project will complement the PKP PLK investment in the rail access infrastructure as well as the projects undertaken by the Directorate for National Roads and Motorways, in terms of the development of road access infrastructure to the port.
Further investments significant for the future of the port complex are those funded by private capital. Among them, the most important include the execution of the second stage of the construction of the oil terminal - the PERN base with a total target capacity of 700,000 m3. This is one of the key infrastructure projects that will ensure the country's energy security.
The first stage of the investment, completed at the end of 2015/beginning of 2016, included the construction of 6 tanks for crude oil. After the completion of the 2nd stage, the Oil Terminal will double its oil storage capacity, making it possible to separate various kinds of oil and its blending according to the demand of PERN SA.'s clients.
Another project important for the future of the port will be the construction of the deepwater terminal of the OT Logistics company. In 2015, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA concluded an agreement with the company for a 30-year lease of an area located at the Outer Port, near the DCT terminal. By 2018/2019, the investor intends to launch the first stage of its investment, the Deepwater Bulk Cargo Terminal, handling mainly cereals and fodder, with a total throughput capacity of 4 million tonnes.
Of further significance for the future of the Gdansk port complex and the development of its industrial functions is the further expansion of the Pomeranian Logistics Centre located in the immediate vicinity of the DCT Gdansk. The investment, aimed at providing a storage area of approximately 500,000 m2, located over an extensive area of over 100 ha - is well connected both by land and sea, and along with the DCT terminal in areas adjacent to the port it can host logistics businesses generating added value for the port.
Due to the fact that these projects will use up all the land available for onshore infrastructure development along the shoreline within the administrative boundaries of the port, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA in the coming years will also focus on developing a concept for the development of another area of the port in the deefp waters of the Gulf of Gdansk. The conceptual work planned for the years 2015-2018, will serve to verify the strategic assumptions regarding the possibility to spatially manage the waters of the gulf by siltation and the construction of piers and will also examine the market forecasts included in the strategy. The project implementation phase, preceded by the documentation stage, is planned for after 2020.
The concept of building a new deep-water area of the port under the working title of "Outer Port construction", alternatively called the Central Port, is a project that will ultimately ensure the continued development of the cargo handling capacity at the Port of Gdansk and create real opportunities for transforming it into a major modern V generation port.
All these investments amount to infrastructure projects directly relating to the port's operational strategy for the coming years. These undertakings cover an extensive range of works and a rich spectrum of projects involving a number of organisations, both private and public. This constitutes an action plan that will further transform the Port of Gdansk into one of the most important and most promising port complexes in this part of Europe. The development plans adopted will also be a real step towards the establishment of the Port of Gdansk as an efficient logistics hub serving not only the domestic commodity market, but also acting as an effective link in terms of transit services for the natural hinterland of the port.