In the Port of Gdansk The British Are Constructing
THE LARGEST DEEPWATER CONTAINER TERMINAL IN POLAND
On January 28th 2004, in the Council's Grand ("Red") Chamber of the Main City Hall, the representatives of the Port of Gdansk Authority SA and DCT Gdansk SA signed a Contract on leasing of area of Port of Gdansk Authority SA to construct and manage a deepwater container terminal within the Port of Gdansk. A piece of land of the Northern Port (ca 30 ha) was leased to the British investor for 30 years with an extension option for further years. This was the largest investment in recent years in Polish maritime economy that would place the Port of Gdansk within the group of major Baltic universal ports. The contract was signed by Andrzej Kasprzak, President of the Board of the Port of Gdansk Authority SA and James Sutcliffe, President of DCT Gdansk SA. There were also present: Charles Crawford, Ambassador of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; Brian Wilson, British Prime Minister's Advisor on Economy Issues; Jan Ryszard Kurylczyk, Governor of the Pomeranian Province; Jan Kozlowski, Marshal of the Pomeranian Province and Pawel Adamowicz, the City Mayor of Gdansk.
Practically all the Baltic ports fiercely compete for expanding their cargo handling, mainly containerised one. The increase in the joint turnover of the 20 major Baltic ports amounted to 170 million tons in the years 1995-2001. This means that every single year our competitors increased their handling capacity by 24 million tons. As much as 38% of this increase is the share of the Eastern Baltic ports, with their annual increase in the turnover of more than 9 million tons.
Presently, Polish acquires ca 1.7% of the general volume of containers handled in the Baltic and North Sea ports. 90% of the cargo handled by the liner trade today is containerised. Only in the years 1994-2000, the cargo carrying capacity of the world container fleet is nearly twice as big. The Ocean Shipping Consultants forecast the increase in container shipping volumes within the Baltic Sea region from 3.5 million TEU in 2000 up to 7-8 million TEU in 2012, which means a 6% increase. The forecasts are convergent with the expected increase in commercial turnover between the Baltic Sea countries. This also refers to Poland which is expected to increase its trade exchange with the countries of the region from 54.3 million tons up to 135 million tons in 2010.
"The response of the Port of Gdansk to this challenge is a wish to create a new image of the Port," says Andrzej Kasprzak, President of the Board of the Port of Gdansk Authority SA "Going universal is a priority in the Port's development strategy. On the one hand, we shall fully employ the capacity of handling fuel, for instance, which would be reflected by very large crude oil carriers with the volumes of 300,000 tons calling on the Northern Port; on the other hand, we shall develop new transhipment capabilities for handling containers. These latest tendencies are reflected by starting a new project in the Northern Port, i.e. the construction of the largest deepwater container terminal in Poland," Mr. Kasprzak notices.
Deepwater Container Terminal Gdansk SA is a British consortium established just for this project. It is owned by a managerial group, and during the implementation of the project the number of shareholders is expected to grow. The British group are well experienced in carrying out investments of similar nature - they operate four comparable terminals: two in Great Britain, one in Malta, and one in the Middle East.
The first stage of the development of the investment includes the construction of the container terminal in the Northern Port, which has very convenient natural features for a project of this kind: it is both big depth of the water route, and a vast piece of free adjacent land. By the newly constructed pier - silt of ca 30 ha in area - two berths are to be constructed for vessels up to 330 metres in length, one of which is going to be of a Ro-Ro type. The assumed handling capacity in this stage will be 500 thousand TEU. The terminal is expected to handle feeder and Ro-Ro traffic from the ships' draft up to 12 metres, with a possible option up to 15 metres.
It is assumed that the first stage of the construction works will take 46 months, at the cost of 175 million USD. The British investment funds shall cover 40 million USD expenses, whereas the remainder of the necessary funds - as James Sutcliffe, President of DCT Gdansk SA says - will be covered by a consortium investment loan from British and American banks.
The construction of the container terminal will be the first stage of the investment. Within the next 10-12 years the DCT is going to invest in the Port of Gdansk some 500 million USD, and the handling capacity will grow up to 1 million TEU. This investment shall contribute to creating ca 400 jobs in the initial stage of the investment, and later - even up to 5 thousand new jobs.