Over 7.6 million tonnes of coal have been handled at the Port of Gdańsk since the beginning of the year
A study visit to the Port of Gdańsk focused on the import of hard coal to Poland took place on September 28. The meeting also included a press conference by Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of PGE Polska Grupa Energetyczna, which was opened by Łukasz Greinke, President of the Port of Gdańsk.
The press conference was held at the Dworzec Drzewny Quay, where the Port Gdański Eksploatacja company operates. The quay was not used for many years due to its poor technical condition. Today, thanks to the completed investment, the largest cranes work there. PG Eksploatacja S.A. handled over 2 million tonnes of coal this year and is the second largest operator in the port handling this raw material.
Łukasz Greinke, President of the Port of Gdańsk: ‘We participate in this important chain, which is the import of coal to our country. We are responsible for the stage that begins at the roadside of our port and ends at the storage yards. So far, we have handled coal mainly at the ore pier, where the Northern Port company operates, and also at the Inner Port, where PG Eksploatacja S.A. operates. The war in Ukraine meant that we had to add additional quays, where coal unloading is possible. As a general rule, we carry out unloading at the port using equipment that is located on the quays. But the dynamic growth in the handling of the coal cargo group has meant that we also use ship-based equipment. At the port, we are responsible for two operations: unloading from the ship’s side to the yard and loading onto delivery trucks and wagons. We handle around 500 cars and around 20 train sets of coal per day’, explained president Greinke.
He assured journalists that there was no threat of a coal handling shortage on the part of the port. ‘We are not threatened by congestion. Although I must admit that the current situation is a big challenge for us. It is possible that for this cargo group, we will end the year with an unprecedented result, as much as 13 million tons. Let me just remind you that the average amount of coal handed has so far been up to approx. 4.8 million tons per year.’
From January to September 27 this year, more than 7.6 million tonnes of goods were handled in the Port of Gdańsk. In August alone, more than 1.1 million tonnes passed through the harbour quays (222% more than in August last year). There are currently 1.4 million tonnes of coal on the Port of Gdańsk storage yards. ‘We are constantly improving the infrastructure, increasing the area of storage yards, and installing railway scales. We are hardening approx. 3 ha of yards per month. Operators are investing in mobile handing equipment and loaders’, adds Łukasz Greinke.
Wojciech Dąbrowski, President of Polska Grupa Energetyczna, stressed that in view of the high demand for coal, all handling capacities had been activated in order to ensure that the raw material was transported from ships to customers throughout Poland as quickly as possible. ‘We are carrying out a special task of filling the hole that arose on the Polish market after the announcement of the embargo on Russian coal. At the moment, a coal ship from Colombia is being unloaded. Its composition is closest to that of Russian coal, which is the type most sought after by individual customers and heating plants’, explained president Dąbrowski. ‘Since the beginning of the year, PGE Paliwa has imported approx. 4 million tons of coal to Poland. By the end of December, it will already be 8 million tons and by the end of the heating season, that is until April – about 10 million tons.’
After the briefing, journalists went to the Northern Port, where they had the opportunity to see how coal is unloaded at a terminal specialising in the handling of coal and iron ore. The company operates on an ore pier. It has already handled nearly 5 million tonnes of coal this year.