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A conference on ’12.5 m for Szczecin - A Port Open to Larger Vessels

On 27th April 2009, a conference on ’12.5 m for Szczecin. A Port Open to Larger Vessels’ was held in the Radisson Hotel, Szczecin. It was organized by the Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority, Port of Police Authority, Maritime University of Szczecin and Maritime Office of Szczecin.

The conference attracted Ms. Anna Wypych-Namiotko, the Undersecretary of State at the Ministry of Infrastructure, responsible for the maritime sector.

The need to modernize the Swinoujscie-Szczecin fairway and related issues pertaining to the development of the Port of Szczecin were discussed by Mr. Jaroslaw Siergiej, the Chairman of Board at the Szczecin and Swinoujscie Seaports Authority.

- The technical depth of 12.5m along the fairway between Swinoujscie and Szczecin will contribute to enhanced competitiveness of the Szczecin Seaport. Moreover, a deep water port of Szczecin linked via a network of canals with Western Europe is an opportunity for developing the city. I think that instead of considering possible impact of dredging the fairway on the port, we should rather analyses what would happen to Szczecin, if we do not dredge, said Jaroslaw Siergiej.

In his speech, Mr. Andrzej Borowiec, the Director of Maritime Office of Szczecin, extensively discussed the activity of the maritime administration as regards the fairway improvement project. Already 10 years ago, the Maritime Office of Szczecin ordered analyses aimed at determining maximum possible parameters for the Swinoujscie-Szczecin fairway. Experts from the Polish Academy of Science established that it was possible to reach 12.5 m depth without necessity of regulating the flow or as much as 14.5 m when flow regulation was provided together with storm barriers.
-At the first modernization stage, the Maritime Office of Szczecin rebuilt breakwaters at the entry from the Piastowski Canal to the Szczecinski Lagoon and improved banks on eastern and western sides of the canal. It enabled building two new breakwaters and a berth, respectively 1260 m and 260 m in length. The construction of the two breakwaters are designed and made to meet the 12.5 m technical depth standard, said Mr. Borowiec.

Professor Krzysztof Chwesiuk of the Maritime University of Szczecin discussed the role and significance of the ports of Szczecin, Swinoujscie and Police on the Baltic shipping market. Until recently, the Baltic Sea Region was one of the most rapidly developing regions in Europe. GDP growth in the Baltic countries was much higher than the EU average. One of the reasons was accession of new member states resulting in more intensive trade. Unfortunately, in the second half of last year, the trade in the EU member states slowed down significantly, including those in the BSR. We need to remember that sea shipping accounts for major volumes of trade between countries of the region reaching about 50%.

- The expected increase in the number of ships calling at ports of Szczecin and Police necessitates improving technical and operational parameters of the Swinoujscie-Szczecin fairway. In longer term, failure to modernize the fairway may lead to deterioration of port functions in Szczecin and Police, concluded Krzysztof Chwesiuk.
Technical issues of fairway dredging were discussed by professors Stanislaw Gucma and Boleslaw Mazurkiewicz. Stanislaw Gucma analyzed target safe parameters of the fairway whereas Boleslaw Mazurkiewicz presented hydrotechnical conditions for rebuilding the fairway. Contributions to the discussion which followed were made by operators, representatives of maritime firms and companies operating in the port of Szczecin.

Anna Wypych-Namiotko summarized the discussion by saying that despite criticism from operational companies, the conference met its objective by presenting a wide range of opinions. She said that maritime firms and companies can count on the support from the government in the field in which the government is able to give such support.

We invite you to read more about the Conference in the promotional material: