The Port of Gdynia is a known Intra-European logistic hub.The modern infrastructure of the port and its terminals are used by Europe's largest shipping operators, including MSC, Hapag-Lloyd, Unifeeder, Containerships, MacAndrews, Transfennica, Finnlines-Grimaldi and Stena Line.
Can you share some of your ambitions related to the development of Port Gdynia in the coming years?
I have worked at Port Gdynia for numerous years, formerly in the technical department. When I became the President of the Managing Board, I started with a vision to bring Port Gdynia back to its former position as the leading port in the Baltic Sea region. I believe we can make it to the top 10 one day!
The year 2020 marks several key anniversaries for you, care to walk us through them?
Indeed, February 10th 2020 marks the 100th anniversary of Poland's marriage to the sea, an event that celebrated Poland regaining access to the Baltic sea under the Treaty of Versailles. This significant date is especially important for us as it was first step of creating the Port of Gdynia, the first polish sea port. This year, we are also celebrating 100 years since the establishment of maritime administration and marine education, whose tradition now is continued by the Marine University in Gdynia. Additionally, in two years Port Gdynia will turn 100 years old.
Congratulations! It is also an exciting year for the development of the offshore wind sector. What role do you expect the port to play in the development of offshore wind in Poland?
We want to play a pivotal role in the construction of wind farms and work alongside the operators, as the need for pure energy is rising. Port of Gdynia is the most attractive place in Poland, location wise, to become the hinterland of the offshore wind farms. For now, we are involved in the construction and installation of wind farms, from assembly to general transportation.
Such a large scale operation will affect the whole region, for which we also have to prepare together with other entities. In July the Port of Gdynia, the Kosakowo commune, the city of Rumia and the city of Gdynia signed a letter of intent regarding the construction of offshore wind farms on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea.
Expert calculations show that the installation of 6 GW offshore wind farms by 2030 will create 77,000 jobs nationwide, generate about 60 billion zlotys of added value to GDP and 15 billion revenues from CIT and VAT taxes. These will be gigantic investments, worth billions of zlotys, for which you need a proper port and extensive industrial and service facilities on land.
If all goes according to plan we expect offshore wind to kick off in 2025 - what facilities and services do you already have in place, and what requires further investment?
The port is ready to receive the ships and we also have the storage and assembly areas prepared. There is also an airport in Gdynia which will deliver small parts to the offshore wind towers via helicopter.
I believe that right now, the regulatory framework remains the prime challenge for offshore wind and that the industry will pick up once the offshore bill is passed. Right now, we are talking to two operators – Orlen and PGE Baltica, and we want to continue to cooperate with them and construct the wind towers for them.
With so much happening, what are you prioritising for the following two to three years?
Currently, we are working on port deepening to allow entry for the largest cargo ships that enter the Baltic Sea. The project includes the modernization of the wharfs and the deepening of the approach fairway.
We are planning the port's expansion and the construction of the Outer Port - our most strategic investment.
On artificial land, on the basis of existing Śląskie quay, a deep-water Outer Port will be built, reaching out past the present protective breakwater, increasing the port surface by 151 ha and its cargo handling capabilities by 2.5 million TEU.
We are also partnering with the Ministry of Development and looking for a foreign investor for the project in the public-private partnership formula. It will most likely be a foreign investor and we count on a world-class container shipping company.
Do you also have an interest in supporting LNG projects?
Of course. Right now, the possible construction of an FSR, a floating terminal is being discussed. Taking into account the restrictions on sulfate emissions in the Baltic Sea, fueling ships by the LNG gas will only become more desirable and popular. An LNG ship bunkering pilot project proved successful. At the moment, we are at the stage of conducting a profitability analysis of the project and have the ambition to become an LNG hub.
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