– We have beaten the Russian Port of Primorsk and are in second place in the Baltic in total transshipments. We also managed to maintain first place at over 60 million tonnes,” explains Łukasz Greinke, CEO of the Port of Gdansk.
From January to the end of July this year, more than 36 million tonnes of goods were handled at the Port of Gdansk. This is 20 per cent more than in the same period last year. Almost all cargo groups recorded increases. The biggest jump was recorded in timber – up by 3150 per cent. Transshipments of ore also increased significantly – by 267 per cent. Energy raw materials were in the lead. Coal rose by nearly 67 per cent and liquid fuels by more than 39 per cent. Only other bulk (aggregates, sulphur) recorded declines – by 23 per cent. There is a slight correction in general cargo (-0.4 per cent).
After a pandemic year, the cruise market collapsed. This year brings a change. Due to the war in Ukraine, there is more cruise ship traffic in the Baltic ports. This is due to shipowners’ decisions – no passenger vessels are currently calling at the Russian port of St Petersburg. The port of Gdansk has pledged a record number of more than 90 cruise ships by the end of the year and estimates that it will welcome around 35,000 tourists. By the end of July, it hosted 53 cruise ships, 44 more than in the whole of last year.
Ports – strategic for the country
The current growth of port operators is very dynamic, which is why Port of Gdansk Authority S.A. is discussing new projects.
In order to handle the growing cargo streams, especially of energy raw materials for domestic needs, as well as cereals, iron ore, steel products or sunflower oil for the export needs of Ukraine, further investments are necessary, including the construction of storage and warehousing yards. Thanks to the diversification in cargo groups, as well as the ongoing projects, the port is resilient to market turbulence, which it proves with steadily increasing transshipments. As an enterprise of strategic importance to the national economy, the port must be flexible and respond quickly to market needs.
ZMPG S.A. is currently carrying out intensive investment and renovation work, which, due to the geopolitical situation, is a priority, as it is focused on preparing new areas for coal storage, as well as ensuring their full accessibility to rail infrastructure. The hardening of 100,000sq m of land and the capital repairs of a total of 1,367 m of track have already been completed. By October this year, further areas for the storage and handling of coal – with an area of 81,000 sq m – are to be hardened and a section of 2,072 m of railway track refurbished.
Ports are not only the flywheel of the national economy in peacetime, but also the guarantor of military, energy and food security in times of armed conflict, which we are witnessing. Hence the joint initiative of Gaz-System, ZMPG S.A. and the Maritime Office, namely the construction of a floating LNG regasification terminal of the FSRU type.
This is a vessel that stores gas in liquid form and has an installation that changes the raw material from liquefied to gaseous form. As part of this project, two berths will be created for the vessels. The state budget has set aside PLN 856 million for this purpose. The construction of the FSRU terminal is a priority for the country’s energy security. This investment will contribute to the diversification of natural gas supply sources to Poland, and thus to the independence from one supplier of this raw material.
In addition, the Port of Gdansk, in cooperation with the operator, Port Północny, which handles ore and coal at the ore pier, is seeking permission to build another rail wagon loading facility to make the transport of goods out of the port even more efficient. The potential on board is 7.5 million tonnes of goods per year. Another millions of bulk cargoes, including coal, can be handled by PGE. This is possible thanks to the modernised Dworzec Drzewny quay, on which the company operates, as well as investments in handling equipment.
Due to increasing oil transshipments, Naftoport has also decided to expand. An additional transshipment site for these products will be built at the terminal.
All these investments are strategic in terms of the country’s security, but also increase the port’s competitiveness and strengthen its position internationally.