Another step towards ensuring navigability of the Vistula

Source: Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation
Source: Ministry of Maritime Economy and Inland Navigation

The Port of Gdansk Authority took on the preparation of a feasibility study for the modernisation of the Vistula (Wisła River). The task will be commissioned to a suitable contractor. Four bids were submitted for the tender.

At the end of 2017, the PGA issued a call for tenders for the preparation of a feasibility study for the comprehensive development of international waterways. The waterways in question are the E-40 from Gdansk to Warsaw and further to the Polish-Belarusian border in Brest, and the E-70 over a section between the Vistula and Elblag). The bids, submitted by four entities – two enterprises (DHV Hydroprojekt and Halcrow Group Limited, ELMS HOUSE) and two consortia (TRACTEBEL ENGINEERING S.A., WYG International, WTU along with “PROJMORS” Biuro Projektow Budownictwa Morskiego, as well as ARCADIS with Ernst &Young) – have just been opened.

– The preparation of the study is a complex process, requiring extensive knowledge and experience. The project of the modernisation of the Vistula will impact the entire country, its hydrological safety, economy, agriculture, and tourism. We want the Ministry of Maritime Economy to receive a document which will answer the questions about the manner of implementing the plan of clearing the Wisła in detail – said Lukasz Greinke, President of the Board of the PGA.

The study will include detailed analyses which will make it possible to check whether there are any technical, financial, organisational, legal or other limitations that could impede the implementation of the project of modernising the Vistula. The document is also supposed to contain an assessment of whether the undertaking is justified from the socio-economic point of view. At each stage of preparing the study, the contractor has to give particular consideration to the environmental conditions, and documents concerning environmental protection, including the Water Framework Directive, the Birds Directive, the Habitats Directive, and the set of directives making up the NATURA 2000 network of nature protection areas.

– There are many aspects that the contractor will have to discuss in the study. It has to specify the scope of the entire undertaking and the technical parameters, estimate the capital expenditure, prepare an expense schedule, and determine the sources of funding. Only a comprehensive study will let us answer the questions on how to modernise the Wisła River, to what extent, for what money, and over what time – explained Marcin Osowski, Vice-President of the Board and Director of Infrastructure at the PGA.

Having signed the ratification act of the “European Agreement on Main Inland Waterways of International Importance” (AGN), Poland committed itself to bringing the main waterways to at least class IV navigability. After achieving the standard specified in the AGN, Polish waterways will have the chance to ultimately become part of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T).
The “White Paper” of the European Commission sets out the transport development strategy in Europe. The aim of the strategy is to transfer – by 2030 – 30% of road transport to rail and inland water transport. By 2050, this should increase to 50%.

The contractor – soon to be selected by the PGA – will have 18 months to prepare the feasibility study.

rel (Port of Gdansk Authority SA)

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