Intensive investments in infrastructure of Port of Gdansk
This year, the investment related to the expansion of the DCT terminal will begin, thanks to which the Port of Gdańsk will move up to the top league of the European ports, says Łukasz Greinke, Chairman of the Board of the Port of Gdańsk Authority.
The Port of Gdańsk Authority has more than 100 hectares of investment area. Until 5 January of this year, the bids can be submitted for a long-term lease of a developed plot of land with a total area of over 27 hectares, which is located directly at the Ore Pier in the Outer Port. Are there many applicants willing to participate in this investment? What is the potential of this property?
This property is unique on a European scale. It is located in the deepwater part of the port, in the immediate vicinity of the DCT Gdańsk terminal. Its unquestionable advantage is perfect communication, both from the water and the land. In the middle of the year, we completed the modernisation of the internal communication system located in the Outer Port, the purpose of which was to bring rail and car traffic to deepwater transhipment terminals. The Maritime Office in Gdynia took care of improving access from the sea to this part of the port by modernising the approach fairway and building breakwaters. Therefore, the property has great potential. It can be used to build a terminal that would generate significant transhipment traffic. We do not want to impose a vision of the development of this area on potential investors. The market itself will decide how to develop it.
The Port of Gdańsk looks forward to launching the Turkey – Ukraine – Poland intermodal transport corridor with the use of ferry connection in the Black Sea and rail transport between the Polish and Ukrainian ports. How are the talks with carriers and shipowners going?
A working group has been functioning since December 2020, which was established as a result of the Letter of Intent signed two months earlier between the Port of Gdańsk and the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority. Talks are being carried out with railway carriers, shipping lines, railway operators, shipowners and customs services, i.e. all entities that will be involved in transport services. Preparations for the launch of the corridor are already quite advanced. The Ukrainian intermodal operator CTS Liski has concluded an agreement with ferry operators operating on the Black Sea. Ukrainian Railways and CTS Liski are working on launching the corridor to the Port of Gdańsk. Routes and freight rates are being adjusted.
What are your plans for ecological investments, e.g. ship bunkering stations?
We are observing that shipowners are looking for new ways to reduce emissions from ships, e.g. by burning LNG. The interest in this fuel is very high. We bunker ships with alternative fuels – liquid natural gas (LNG) using truck-to-ship road tankers at the Obrońców Westerplatte Quay. These services are provided by external entities. We are open to cooperation with an entity that will enable the bunkering of ships from a vessel (LNG bunkers). We talk to companies that consider operating a floating LNG bunker in and around Gdańsk in the future or a vessel that will offer more than one type of fuel. Together with Gaz-System and the Maritime Office in Gdynia, we would like to implement the FSRU project, i.e. a floating LNG regasification terminal. Apart from the issue of the country’s energy security, the project may significantly improve the conditions for bunkering ships with LNG fuel, not only in the Tri-City but also in other ports of the eastern part of the Baltic coast. With the development of the fleet powered by this type of fuel and the possibility of taking LNG into a floating bunker directly from FSRU, we anticipate that Gdańsk will be a key point of LNG bunkering operations on the eastern part of the Polish coast. However, analyses and talks with shipowners show that the way to the vessel method will continue to be the main approach of LNG bunkering for the next few years. A tanker truck and a bunker can serve ships at different quays.
Currently, there are several dozen places in the port area, where it is possible to supply vessels with electricity with a capacity of 20-40 kilowatts. The supply points are most often located at berths for connecting small vessels, usually of the port residents. The dedicated connection points were completed and are mainly used as connections from the onshore network when mooring at the quays, as an alternative to operating the ship generators. Today, some of the quays have the so-called OPS Ready status (offshore power supply), have an electricity sewage system with adequate capacity ensuring readiness to use the technology of supplying electricity from the quay to moored ships without the need to interfere with their structure. We put great emphasis on adapting the hydrotechnical infrastructure to the challenges ahead. Such a solution, if external entities are interested in applying the OPS systems, will also enable the direct use of converter stations on the quay in the future. In contrast to the ship’s diesel gensets, the converters will not emit harmful exhaust gases, nor will they require fuel delivery or technical breaks at work. As the port authority, we try to implement as many various ecological solutions as possible. We equip quays with rainwater drainage and pre-treatment systems (separators, sedimentation tanks), and energy-saving lighting systems. There is an air quality monitoring system within the port area. We participate in the CORAL project, under which water quality monitoring in port waters with the use of water drones will be tested soon.
What are the future plans for the Port of Gdańsk?
We invest very intensively in port infrastructure. We plan to rebuild the following quays: Vistula, Coal, Ore and Bytom. I hope that we will receive funding from CEF2 funds for these projects. This year, the investment related to the expansion of the DCT terminal will begin. A third deepwater quay with a length of 717 metres, a depth of 18 metres and an area of 36 hectares will be built in the port area. The works are scheduled to be completed in 2024. Owing to this investment, the transhipment capacity of the DCT Gdańsk will increase by 1.5 million TEU to 4.5 million TEU per year totally, and the Port of Gdańsk will move up to the top league of the European ports.
Another project of key importance for us is the choice of an investor for the “Deepwater” site with an area of over 26 hectares in the deepwater part of the Port of Gdańsk, situated in the immediate vicinity of the DCT terminal. Moreover, we want to find an investor for our company, Port Gdański Eksploatacja. It is currently one of the largest operating companies in the Port of Gdańsk, providing cargo handling and storage services. It operates in an exceptionally attractive area in the Inner Port, which has been covered by the largest investment programme co-financed by the EU funds. To improve the port operations, we are also planning to introduce a truck notification system in order to optimise the flow of traffic in the port area and to develop other areas in the immediate vicinity of the DCT.