knocks at the Port of Gdansk
This presents the opportunity of truly historic importance for the Port of Gdansk - claims Andrzej Kasprzak, President of the Board at the Port of Gdansk Authority SA. Never before has the port been given a chance to take advantage of equally substantial external financial resources. The assistance granted from the EU budget running at 75% of expenditure on eligible investment projects will, to a large extent, speed up the investment and improvement measures in the inner port.
The wide-ranging need for investment and improvement was brought on in the wake of years of negligence and underinvestment in this area of business. With the Northern Port having become a focus of economic attention coupled by deficient own financial resources, this part of the port experienced a tremendous shortage of capital. It was not until the implementation of strategy of the Port of Gdansk was put in place aimed at shaping ports universal profile, that the things took a turn for the better. Having won the approval of both the European Commission and the European Parliament which recognized the Port of Gdansk as a vital multimodal hub within Trans-European Transport Corridor No. 6, the strategy not only calls for an extended range of services offered by specialist cargo handling terminals, of which chiefly a container terminal, but also requires the inner port to become tailored to advanced cargo handling technologies of the present day.
Notwithstanding the limited financial resources at the disposal of the port authority, for two years now, considerable financial and development measures are under way (in 2003 - PLN 28M, in 2004 - PLN 40M) set out to bolster the investment and improvement process. It can be clearly seen, however, that such steps remain insufficient to cover all the necessary expenditure, it has been expected, therefore, that Poland's accession to the European Union will bring a window of opportunity to boost financial resources into ports infrastructure. The transportation network policy based on sustainable development put in place across the enlarged European Union has entailed infrastructure improvements on seaports accessibility, thus presenting a welcome opportunity.
This opportunity has taken final shape under the Sector Operation Programme - Transport (SOP-T), one out of seven operation programmes aimed to implement the Community Support Framework during the years 2004-2006. While developing the projects to be submitted to the Ministry of Infrastructure, the Port of Gdansk Authority SA strived to coincide with the EU objectives regarding transport policy and the European funds, and also with the policy on transport development in Poland. Hence, a focal point of all submitted projects is the expansion of the port seen as an intermodal hub within Trans-European Transport Corridor No 6, with major emphasis on ensuring robust infrastructure conducive to the development of "motorways of the sea" and short sea shipping and on the port expansion set out to provide a logistics and distribution centre bringing about the economic revival of the port grounds. Completion of these developments will additionally contribute to the ports increased competitiveness and its greater international recognition, allowing, at the same time, for better environmental protection.
Brought forward to the Ministry of Infrastructure by the Port of Gdansk Authority SA and granted the approval, four projects are to be implemented under the SOP-Transport. These are projects pertaining to: access infrastructure to the region of Przemyslowe Quay, improvement of access to the Port Free Zone, quay and road infrastructure at the Westerplatte Ferry Terminal and modernisation of entrance to the inner port.
Access infrastructure to the region of Przemyslowe Quay
This project is aimed to enhance the efficiency of road transportation system that links the region of Przemyslowe Quay with a major transportation run in the eastern part of the port (Sucharski Route) and to facilitate cargo handling at the quay, thus shaping conditions conducive to revitalizing of development grounds adjacent to the quay.
The project provides for construction of a new flyover Ku Ujsciu with a carrying capacity of 50 tonnes (presently 15 tonnes) along with access roads and junction redevelopment. This will enable the connection of port development grounds in the region of Gorniczy Basin (ca. 60 ha) with those adjacent to the area of Przemyslowe Quay (ca. 110 ha), with Sucharski Route as a major transportation run on the Stogi Island. Simultaneously, a 100-metre stretch of Przemyslowe Quay will undergo modernisation, which, combined with the developments bankrolled by the Port of Gdansk Authority SA, will provide a total of 519-metre length of quay with a target depth of 10 metres.
In total, gross investment outlays on the project run at PLN 26M.
Improvement of access to the Port Free Zone at the Port of Gdansk
The Port Free Zone at the Port of Gdansk ranks among the most rapidly expanding regions of the port. This project comprises construction of a 300-metre stretch of WOC II Quay (as continuing of work carried out by the Port of Gdansk Authority SA at their own cost) and construction of a Ro-Ro ramp, which will enable the handling of two vessels at the WOC II Quay at the same time. Additionally, internal access roads, as well as maneuvering and stopping yards are to be provided on an area of 19 thou. sq. metres. Simultaneously, redevelopment of road approach to the Port Free Zone i.e. the junction of Oliwska and Przemyslowa streets is to be carried out with the purpose to ensure safe and smooth-running heavy-duty traffic.
Investment outlays - PLN 51M.
Expansion of shore and road infrastructure at the Westerplatte Ferry Terminal
This project is geared to improving traffic capacity and safety on roads leading to the terminal and to providing necessary port infrastructure to enable the handling of at least three Ro-Ro ships, ferry boats and passenger vessels at the same time (the current facilities suited to handling one vessel).
The modernisation work is to cover a 630-metre length of Obroncow Westerplatte Quay with a depth of 9 and 10 metres and to include construction of two berths. Internal road approaches to the quay, as well as maneuvering and stopping yards are to stretch over an area of 25 thou. sq. metres. Road developments comprised in this project cover an area of 4 thou. sq. metres. The present junction situated in front of the terminal is to be redeveloped and main footpaths delineated.
In total, investment outlays run at PLN 67M.
Modernisation of entrance to the inner port
With a view to improving safety standards of navigation at the entrance to the Port of Gdansk, a project has been designed to widen the entrance from 70 to 90 metres. The existing Western Breakwater is to be dismantled and a new one of 200 metres in length built in a place some 45 metres away in the westward direction. Besides, dredging of adjacent sea areas is to be carried out.
Following completion of this work, the port will become suited to day-to-day handling of 250-metre long and 36-metre wide vessels with a 10.6-metre draught, regardless of the weather conditions. The land earmarked for the project development remains under the management of the Maritime Office in Gdynia, therefore the entire project is to be implemented by the Maritime Office in Gdynia, with the Port of Gdansk Authority SA acting as their partner.
In total, investment outlays on this development run at PLN 26M.
Current work progress analysis for respective implementation areas and indicating most critical sore points in terms of further steps to be taken were the subject matter of a meeting that was held on February 23 this year and attended by delegates representing all units dedicated to working on projects implementation under SOP-T. Time is getting short as the work is to be completed by the end of 2007, and there is a lot at stake, namely, financial assistance from the EU budget covering 75% of projects implementation costs. A similar ongoing control of work development, therefore, will be carried out on regular basis in order to prevent unexpected hold-ups that might hamper efficient implementation of the investment projects.
The most immediate actions comprise drawing up attachments to the financial assistance contract, developing guidelines for project implementation procedures, and also making arrangements for holding a tender procedure.