Thanks to the shipping channel through the Vistula Spit, Poland is safer and the port of Elbląg can join the large Polish Baltic ports, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Grzegorz Witkowski assessed on Monday during a conference summarising the first year of the investment’s operation.
A press conference of Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Grzegorz Witkowski on the progress, challenges and prospects of the navigation channel through the Vistula Spit and the increase in shipping activity in the first year of the investment’s operation was held on Monday at the Nowy Świat Port Captain’s Office.
– Thanks to the navigation channel through the Vistula Spit, Poland is safer. (…) Thanks to this investment, the port in Elbląg, with good cooperation between the government and local authorities, will become another large port on the Baltic Sea. We have Szczecin, Świnoujście, Gdańsk and Gdynia – ports that perform gigantic transshipments year after year. They handled coal, they handled Ukrainian grain exports. Now Elbląg will join this group,” said Deputy Minister Witkowski. – Poland is a maritime country and Poles deserve to have such beautiful investments, he added.
Director of the Maritime Office in Gdynia Wiesław Piotrzkowski noted that the investments carried out by the office will serve the development of the maritime economy.
– A year ago we participated in the ceremony of commissioning this beautiful hydrotechnical structure equipped with a sluice gate, lock gates and swing bridges. During that year, 1,864 vessels passed through the canal, but it would be interesting to make a statistic of how many vessels have passed through the Pilawa Strait for more than 70 years, he pointed out.
Director Piotrzkowski stressed that work is currently underway on the second stage of the project. “This stage is quite complicated. Maybe less spectacular than what we see here, but it consists in enclosing the banks of the Elbląg River. On the other hand, in July we commissioned the bridge in Nowakowo, which is no longer an obstacle to navigation,” – he explained.
– This investment will be completed this year. We will also be carrying out an investment related to the dredging of the Elbląg river and the tender for the latter section leading to the turning circle, to the P2 point, will soon be announced. In addition, a dredger is being built at a shipyard in Finland, which will serve to maintain the parameters of the fairway, that is, 5 metres deep, 60 metres wide. We will operate this dredger, reducing the costs of maintaining these parameters,” said Wieslaw Piotrzkowski.
The total length of the waterway from the Gulf of Gdansk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg is almost 23 km, of which the Vistula Lagoon crossing alone is just over 10 km, on the Elbląg River – also over 10 km. The remaining approx. 2.5 km consists of a lock and outer harbour and a berth.