Port gdański na przełomie XX i XXI w.
The port of Gdansk located at the mouth of the Vistula has a tradition of over a thousand years and is firmly connected with both the Polish and world sea trade. In 1970s construction of a new deep-water Northern Port was started. The next decade was less favourable when an economical and political crisis adversely affected the size and structure of the port turnovers. A new period for the port of Gdansk started after 1989. At present the port of Gdansk is the biggest port on the Baltic Sea, capable of servicing ships of "Balti-max" class. The port consists of two parts - the inner port located at the mouth of the Martwa Wisła (the Dead Vistula) and the outer port - protruding into the sea, modern, deep-water Northern Port capable of servicing ships up to 150 thousand tons of dead-weight capacity and draught up to 15 m. Two specialist transhipment terminals were located here - of coal and liquid fuels (rebuilt in 1998). The second terminal is linked by a system of pipelines with the Refinery of Gdansk, with the Petrochemistry of Płock, with Russia and with refineries in Germany. The size of transhipments in the port of Gdansk remained at the level of 16.5-20.5m tons in 1995-1999. It is not much in comparison with transhipment capacity of the port that is 55m tons. Through the ferry terminal of PZB (Polska Żegluga Bałtycka - Polish Baltic Navigation) pass yearly from 97 thousand to 125 thousand passengers. Regular sailing lines link the port with ports of Sweden, Germany, Great Britain, Turkey, Egypt, the Red Sea, India Sea and the Caribbean. A forecast for transhipment turnovers of the port of Gdansk until 2010 assumes two variants. A pessimistic variant takes, among others, an assumption of maintaining the land character of trade exchange of Poland and lack of development for transport links between the port and the hinterland An optimistic variant forecasts a favourable pace of the country's economic growth, a high increase in turnovers of the Polish foreign trade, especially in exports. An increase in competitiveness, a development of all fields of activity in the port, a full use of the port space, and improvement of transport links with the hinterland - all this will substantially affect an increase in transhipment turnovers. Important advantages to achieve such assumptions are proper bathymetric conditions and free terrain in the outer port, enabling location of large investments. In 1998 a terminal for import of liquid petrochemical gas (LPG) was opened. Rudoport (Oreport) and Europort will operate a modernised ore pier. Rudoport is going to import iron ores. In autumn of 2000 Europort will start its operation; it is a modern terminal of transhipment of grain and feed. It will serve for transhipment of grain and feed coming from Canada and the USA, and going to states of the former USSR, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary. The next investment will be a terminal of liquid chemical and oil-derived products. Further plans forecast construction of a terminal for natural gas (LNG). A novelty in the port is to be a huge container terminal with a yearly transhipment capacity of 500 thousand TEU. Container ships carrying up to 6 thousand TEU will be able to harbour here. It will cover a few dozen hectares in the Northern Port. In the hinterland of the terminal the Baltic Logistic Centre will come into being. A condition for development of the forecast investments is the fastest possible construction of the highway A-l and linking it with the port. In mid-1999 construction of a bridge over the Dead Vistula was started. The bridge will be a fragment of a new ring road that will link the port with exit roads in the direction of Warsaw, Bydgoszcz and Łódź, and the ring road around the Gdansk agglomeration (then with the highway A-l). For 2002 construction of a tunnel (under the port canal) is planned. This enterprise will eliminate heavy car traffic that has to pass from the western part of the port through the crowded centre of Gdansk; it will improve transport within the port itself and will link the western part of the port with the national road network. Implementation of the presented above plans may substantially contribute to making at the same time the oldest and largest port on the Baltic one of the best and competitive ones on the Baltic and European market of sea trade in the coming 21st century.
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