The significance of the seaport in Gdansk is on the rise
In mari via tua *
On 6 November 2013, the Inspector of Construction Supervision for the Province of Pomerania, upon examination of the motion brought forth by the investor, i.e. “Port Polnocny” Ltd, granted the permission for operation of the Dry Bulk Terminal in Port Polnocny in Gdansk. The document includes, among other works, the repairs of the Rudowy Pier, the construction of storage yards with an area of almost 100 thousand sq. metres, new technological equipment, staff and workshop facilities, transformer stations, road networks and utility and service lines – taking up an area of 15.5 hectares of the most attractive port land having direct access to the deepwater regions of the Gulf of Gdansk. Consequently, “Port Polnocny” Ltd owned by the Belgian group SEA-INVEST is now operating on 59.2 hectares of land using two cargo piers suited to handling coal and ore – which can accommodate the largest ocean-going vessels that can navigate through the Danish Straits.
Port Polnocny (Northern Port) - the flag-ship investment project of the 1970s – came into focus of Belgian interest already in 2007. Having recognized the advantage of berthing facilities for 280-metre long bulk carriers with a 15-metre draught, they acquired the majority block of voting shares of the company that was established in 1991 following the privatisation of the Commercial Seaport in Gdansk. The Belgian company of SEA-INVEST, which since the inter-war period has developed its experience in 25 ports all over the world, has made the right decision: Gdansk is the right choice for successive maritime investments.
The project funded by SEA-INVEST and developed on the land managed by PGA SA is in fact the closing of another investment launched by the Port of Gdansk 40 years ago. However, although the liquid fuel piers operated by the erstwhile Port Polnocny were suited to handling both export and import goods, the Weglowy Pier (coal pier) was only capable of exporting coal from Poland using the advanced and efficient technologies. It was not until now that it is possible to shift coal from vessels onto freight cars and vehicles at a rate (30,000 tonnes) similar to that of loading a ship (35,000 tonnes). This is how the situation has changed in terms of exchange of goods with Poland, which in fact had been forecast by the designers of Port Połnocny – this is the requirement that the Port of Gdansk has to meet.
The volume of goods handled by the SEA-INVEST Group in the ports across Belgium, France, the Netherlands, Germany, Africa, India, Russia and Gdansk totals more than 120 million tonnes of dry, liquid, containerised and refrigerated cargoes – ranking as the European leader in terms of port turnovers and logistics chains. From Antwerp to Ghent, Bayonne, Bordeaux, Calais and from Caronte, Rotterdam, Abidjan to Cape Town… SEA-INVEST provides jobs to more than six thousand people. The analysis of Gdansk port natural location shows the following advantages: facilities to accommodate the Baltmax-class ships all year round in an ice-free port, highly efficient and continuously modernised rail and road services connecting the port with Poland’s industrial hinterland and with the entire Central and Eastern Europe. These advantages can guarantee a successful project delivery of setting up in Gdansk a distribution centre suited to handling coal, iron ore, aggregates and biomass. This is the shortest way to launching a profitable hub for dry bulk cargo in the Baltic Sea.
The current infrastructure facilities including automated defrosting and unloading of freight cars, sorting, storage and loading of bulk carriers at the Weglowy Pier has been expanded with two 75-tonne cranes which – given the support of dumping and loading machines and a conveyor system with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per hour – are suited to unloading a ship at the Rudowy Pier using the technology and at a rate that will prove satisfactory to each and every shipping and cargo operator.
The SEA-INVEST Dry Bulk Terminal in Gdansk looks quite impressive today. The port landscape – until recently rather coarse and plain, reminding the viewer of the wartime destruction – is now changing substantially thanks to the investments of the recent years. In cooperation with PGA SA, every successive business partner contributing their innovative ideas in the form of investment projects, has the guarantee of profitability and success. Consequently, they are helping Gdansk to regain its significance determined by its natural advantages centuries ago and to strengthen its position as an ocean port facility and a Baltic hub suited to handling a full range of vessels and cargoes. Adjacent to the “Naftoport” Coal and Liquid Fuel Terminal and to the Deepwater Container Terminal (DCT) – the Baltic hubs that have already earned their reputation - the SEA-INVEST Dry Bulk Terminal adds to the courageous dreams of Poland’s drawing benefits from its excellent access to the sea. The announcement regarding the construction of the PERN fuel base and the “OT Logistics” Plant Products Terminal, expanding the container throughput capacity and providing new facilities for passenger traffic, among other projects, shape the perspective presented in the port development strategy, bringing to mind the rational use of benefits derived from the direct sea access.
The founding principle of the University of Gdansk: In mari via tua * – provides support and benefits to all citizens of Poland. The same is true about the saying renowned all along the Polish coast: the sea feeds and sustains us.
PGA SA PR Officer
*In mari via tua - (latin = your road lies upon the sea)