The European Investment Bank (EIB) has provided a PLN 163.5m (some EUR 38m) loan to Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority for investments improving the seaports’ nautical access and quay infrastructure.Minister of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation Marek Gróbarczyk said: “Today in the Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation, a very important loan agreement between the Board of the Port of Szczecin-Świnoujście and the European Investment Bank was signed. The amount of EUR 38m will provide complementary support to the port development projects financed under the Infrastructure and Environment Programme, altogether around EUR 280m. That financial support will enable the improvement of the access infrastructure to the port, safer navigation and better environmental protection. We are sure that those actions will widely influence the competitiveness of the port.”
EIB Vice-President Vazil Hudák, responsible for the Bank’s activity in Poland, said: “We are glad to support the modernisation of the Szczecin and Świnoujście seaports, as this project will contribute to the development of sustainable transport and support industries depending on it for efficient logistics and production. Co-financing the project with EU funds, the EIB is helping Poland to better absorb them and utilise them for strategic infrastructure projects”.
The operation is co-financing, together with EU Structural and Investment Funds as well as the Connecting Europe Facility, several priority maritime investments in TEN-T infrastructure in Poland over the 2014-2020 programming period. These are aimed at improving the seaports’ nautical access and quay infrastructure. The project will promote maritime transport as an alternative to other transport modes, thus contributing to transport sustainability.
Today’s loan is a part of a larger framework financing programme agreed by the EIB and the Polish government last year and amounting to some PLN 1.28bn (EUR 298m). This programme is expected to support employment in the Polish seaports, and, more importantly, in the industries depending on them for efficient logistics and production. The maritime infrastructure investments are expected to catalyse further investments from the private operators and concessionaires in TEN-T seaports.
The seaports in Szczecin and Świnoujście are part of the Baltic-Adriatic core network corridor within the multimodal TEN-T Core Network. The corridor extends via Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia and through eastern Austria to the Slovenian port of Koper and the Italian ports of Trieste, Venice and Ravenna.
The EIB loan will result in financial value added for the Szczecin and Świnoujście Seaports Authority stemming from the long maturity of the loan combined with attractive pricing.