Not only Germany against the construction of a container terminal in Swinoujscie

Following earlier objections and announcements of legal action by German organisations from the coastal border region and ‘environmentalists’, now the plans for a deep-water container terminal are trying to torpedo the Świnoujście city authorities.

‘A number of regulations were violated or disregarded when deciding on the location of the container terminal in Swinoujscie. There was a complete disregard for, inter alia, the interests of the residents, the nuisance that will be experienced by the local community, but also the security of the state in a situation where the investment is being built in the vicinity of the LNG terminal’. – reads the City of Swinoujscie website. ‘The Świnoujście local government wants to rectify these mistakes and has appealed against the said decision of Adam Rudawski, the West Pomeranian Voivode. The action was taken in the broad public interest, in the hope that the voice of the local government will finally be heard and taken into account,’ 

The Świnoujski self-government points out that the number of regulations violated or completely ignored in connection with the plans to build a container terminal on the city’s right bank is significant. The residents’ voice on the matter has been completely ignored.

‘Back in 2017, the residents of the right bank of Swinoujscie made it clear at the General Meeting of Residents that they did not want a container terminal. This voice was ignored by, among others, the investor and representatives of the former government. This is no way to approach the realisation of any investment in our country’. – says Roman Kucierski, deputy mayor of Świnoujście for social affairs. ‘In the beginning, the resolution of the auxiliary bodies of the City Council was not taken into account, and later there was no public consultation or referendum. Nor was there any reliable and independent study of the impact of this investment on the city and residents. It was apparently completely forgotten that this investment is being made in Swinoujscie and it is the residents of the city that are most important, not the private interests of the investor. In this case a Belgian and Qatari investor’. – adds R. Kucierski and points out that an investment carried out against the local community may have problems with obtaining external funding.

In a document to be placed on the desk of the West Pomeranian Voivode, the Świnoujście self-government indicated that instead of being guided by the well-being of local residents, monuments and the environment, the investment was considered to be ‘in the interest of the investor overriding all other local social and civic interests’.

The decision in this form does not take into account, among other things, the consequences of the loss of valuable natural resources in our region, i.e. the Varsovian and coastal dunes. It also prevents the use of the Fortress Route leading from the highest lighthouse on the Baltic Sea to the Underground City area, the further use of the R10 route between Swinoujscie and Miedzyzdroje, i.e. the Hanseatic Coastal Route, which includes a section of the West Pomeranian Velo Baltica route, part of the International EuroVelo Route.

‘In addition, the entire executed and planned spatial structure of the Warszów settlement is subordinated to the assumption that the port ends at the boundary marked by Ku Morzu Street, and the container terminal completely destroys the concept developed by the local government, which was also completely ignored in the process of making the location decision’. – adds Arkadiusz Mazepa, 1st deputy mayor of Świnoujście for, among other things, investments ‘The construction of such an investment is incompatible with the development strategy of the city of Świnoujście. It is also not in the strategy of the West Pomeranian Voivodeship’. – he stresses.

Among the more than a dozen violations of the regulations on the construction of seaports, Świnoujscie officials pointed to, among others, the provision of Article 9(1)(14) of the Act on investments in the construction of external ports. This refers to the complete disregard of conditions and requirements resulting from the needs of state defence and security, while the investment will be located in the immediate vicinity of another strategic facility; an LNG terminal and in maritime waters subject to special protection in times of global threat caused by the war in Ukraine.

The decision-makers also ignored other fundamental issues, such as water supply. The document recognises that a maximum of 12 m3/h will be provided. The investor wants to obtain it from the municipal water supply system. When the city, still under Mayor Janusz Żmurkiewicz, replied that this was not possible. This too was ignored.

‘In our opinion, the Governor issued the complained decision based on false assumptions indicated by the investor regarding the supply of water from the municipal network. The municipal infrastructure in this respect cannot meet the investor’s expectations, and thus the location decision is based on faulty assumptions related to the projected development of the area,’ – inform the representatives of the Świnoujście Municipal Office

In the opinion of the City Hall, there are more errors. The investment characterisation document itself was drawn up – according to the specialists of the Świnoujście magistrate – unreliably.

‘On one page its authors state, for example, that the investment will significantly affect the Natura 2000 area, and on another page that it will not significantly affect it. We cannot agree that the implementation of this project should be approached in such a careless manner’. – says A. Mazepa.

An eight-page appeal against the governor’s decision will also go to the Ministry of Development and Technology. The Świnoujscie self-government expects talks on the container terminal to commence with representatives of the West Pomeranian Self-Government, the Polish Government and the Szczecin and Świnoujscie Seaport Authority, which have not yet taken place.

At the same time, the local government officials assure us that they recognise how important the development of the maritime economy is for Świnoujście and announce that they will support all initiatives in this sector, but on the condition that they are implemented in accordance with current regulations and socio-economic standards and, above all, with the acceptance of the Świnoujście residents.

‘We hope that our appeal will be taken into account and that the investor and the institutions that are proceeding with this project will conduct local public consultations and prepare the relevant documents. Such a project has a chance of being developed if and only if it has public acceptance. We are in favour of the sustainable development of our islands, where there is room for both tourism and modern maritime businesses’. – Joanna Agatowska, Mayor of Świnoujście, expresses her position.




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