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An imposing ferry berth opens in Świnoujście

An imposing investment at a ferry terminal in Świnoujście involving the construction of a ferry berthing facility has been completed. Now, Świnoujście can handle large ferries of maximum length 220 m and the largest cruisers that may enter the Baltic Sea. The official opening of the berth was held on 28th October this year.

The investment provided for building a new berth for ro-pax ferries, a passenger terminal building of variable height with two stairwells, a jet way connecting the building with the ferry, a trestle bridge with a mobile side ramp, a mobile bow and stern ramp, a power room for operating the ramps, as well as extended road infrastructure at car parks and maneuvering yards with necessary installations.

The length of the new berth is 242.15 m and a permissible draught 13.00 m. The investment project involved as follows:

  • 600 steel and concrete piles of total length in excess of 11 kilometers at the berth alone
  • more than 1000 tons of steel rod reinforcement and 6500 m3 concrete
  • more than 7000 m2 of elasticated waterproof insulation, an equivalent of an area of a football pitch
  • 1000 tons of steel were used to develop steel structures of the passenger gallery, trestle bridge and bow and stern ramp.

Glazing of the passenger gallery is made of special glass panes of 12 mm, and the jet way connecting the ferry with the gallery is the most modern and the largest among all European ports. It is 3.6 m in width and 2.5 m in height and guarantees maximum comfort and safety to passengers.

One of the largest in the world floating cranes (900 ton) was used to fit the bow and stern ramp. Water works were some of the most difficult during the project and involved the preparation of a seabed for positioning and concreting of a mattress. This novel method of bottom strengthening has been increasingly often used in Europe. However, works at as much as 12 m in depth were implemented for the first time.

The implementation of this huge project by the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority aimed at meeting current trends in ferry transport on the Baltic, i.e. operation of increasingly large vessels.

Due to the possibility to handle new and larger ferries of longer loading line, the project should contribute to an increased handling capacity of the Świnoujście seaport. The improved access to the port infrastructure, helps enhancing the operation of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) and the Central European Transport Corridor (CETC) members of which include the ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście.

The Szczecin-Świnoujście port complex is considered to be a major infrastructure of the CETC which is the shortest route from Scandinavia through Central Europe and to the southern part of the continent. According to priority VII of the Infrastructure and Environment Programme, the project contributes to an increased share of sea transport in the overall transport of cargo, which leads to a more sustainable transport system and reduced negative impact of transport on the natural environment. The investment should strengthen the competitive position of the ferry terminal in Świnoujście, which already today is the largest in Poland and one of the most modern on the Baltic Sea. At the same time, it plays a leading role in sea ferry handling for services from Poland to Scandinavia, as regards the number of calls and the volume of passenger and cargo traffic. Today, the Świnoujście Ferry Terminal provides 11 services to Scandinavia, which makes it the leader in ferry services. This has been reflected in the decision of the European Commission which recognized the link as the ‘motorway of the sea’.
The project will not only boost the international trade but will have a positive influence on the development of the port itself and the entire region. Consequently, it should promote economic growth and enhanced competitiveness of the Western Pomerania Region.

The ‘Extension of port infrastructure in the southern part of the Świnoujście seaport’ has been co-funded from the Cohesion Fund under measure 7.2 – Development of sea transport. The total project value is PLN112.2 million, of which the grant accounts for nearly PLN54.7 million. The project was implemented in the period of November 2012 – September 2015.