2nd The Maritime Forum on the air of Radio Gdańsk

On Radio Gdańsk, the presidents of Polish seaports of fundamental importance for the national economy, i.e. Gdańsk, Gdynia, Szczecin and Świnoujście, talked about how to increase the competitiveness of Polish ports in the new geopolitical situation. The debate took place as part of the second Maritime Forum organized by this station.


Referring to the degree of impact on Polish ports of sanctions imposed on Russian maritime units and the transport of Russian goods, the President of the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority, Krzysztof Urbaś, noted that the situation is extraordinarily favorable, which, contrary to appearances, may be positive when it comes to port development. - The market hates a vacuum, I know it is a bit of a slogan, but new opportunities are appearing in place of those that are currently being closed. - pointed out President Urbaś.

It was recalled that in April this year. the Ministry of Climate discussed the possibility of replacing Russian coal, which is delivered to Poland mainly by land. During this conversation, all ports declared that port operators are able to handle all coal imports to Poland using sea transport, which is to replace the current imports of Russian coal. - The port in Świnoujście can accept ships up to 80-85 thousand. tone. It can store two million tons in warehouses at one time. In Szczecin, the mass terminal is currently under reconstruction. This will end at the end of next year, and these opportunities will also appear there. - added K. Urbaś.

Today, the amount reported by cargo handlers is secured. The situation will be similar with iron ore. - In Świnoujście there was mainly import of this raw material, but there was also export of Ukrainian ore. We have already contracted two ships of 25 thousand. tone. Corn appeared next to the ore, two ships of 24 thousand. tone. This shows, apart from the cruelty and barbarism that is happening in Ukraine on the Russian side, that Polish ports can gain. New transport chains, new integrated logistics chains will be created because the market cannot stand a vacuum. The ports are prepared to take over cargo that has so far been transported by road. Therefore, paradoxically, this situation will increase the transshipment capacity of Polish ports. - stated the president of ZMPSiŚ.

During the conversation, particular attention was paid to the development of railway infrastructure in relation to Polish ports. ZMPSiŚ together with PKP PLK modernize and modernize railway routes leading to the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście. The investment cost is PLN 1.5 billion. The investment is nearing completion, it has been running since 2018. It is almost 100 km of new track, approx. 300 new turnouts, over 80 km of the traction network. In the port of Szczecin, in Ostrów Grabowski, which is such a new center of general cargo in the port, there are two new tracks, there are 5 km of a new railway network. The new tracks allow 750-meter trains to enter the port without having to separate them. - This cooperation with PKP PLK and port authorities shows that well-thought-out and well-planned tasks, where financing was secured, will certainly bring great benefits and will strengthen the competitiveness of all Polish ports. - summed up Krzysztof Urbaś.

During the discussion, there was also talk about the Deepwater Container Terminal in Świnoujście. There are currently three interested in this venture. The president of ZMPSiŚ stated that we need to move towards new opportunities. - What will be built in Świnoujście will, in a way, connect the Baltic-Adriatic transport corridor and the two routes that run from Świnoujście, i.e. to the south of Europe, and from Gdańsk and Gdynia. The entire Polish coast is an ideal location when it comes to such investments. We are a logistics and transport center in Europe and we must use this model location for such investments, 'he added.

Regarding the country's energy security, it was noted that recently 160 LNG deliveries arrived at the LNG terminal in Świnoujście. There will be two more ships from the US in April. At the beginning of May, another one from the USA and Qatar. You can see a very large acceleration when it comes to the intensification of these transshipments. At the moment, the terminal has one 320-meter-long reloading berth, the twin is under construction, will be completed this year, and the entire investment, which is joint ZMPSiŚ with Gaz System, will be ready next year. It consists of a new reloading station for LNG import and export, and a tank with infrastructure. As a result, it will be possible to store up to 8 billion cubic meters of gas at one time.

Since the beginning of its operation, the terminal has handled 13.2 million tons of cargo. The annual transhipment capacity is 3.5 million tons. - This year we are getting very close to this size. Last year, the terminal handled 2.8 million tons of cargo. It is possible to further expand the terminal by deepening the basin in which the gas carriers are currently serviced. At the moment, ships with a size of 70-90 thousand. tonnes, after deepening this value could increase to 120 thousand. tone. There are still a lot of reserves for the stable maintenance of our country's energy security. - K. Urbaś noticed. (Monika Woźniak-Lewandowska)

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