EU greenlights fairway deepening at Port of Gothenburg

EU greenlights fairway deepening at Port of Gothenburg

The Skandia Gateway project has received the final approval from the EU Commission, paving the way for the fairway deepening at the Port of Gothenburg.

The EU Commission’s endorsement confirms that state funding for the infrastructure project does not constitute state aid. Following the announcement, the Gothenburg Port Authority could activate the previously prepared agreement with NCC concerning the quay reinforcement part of the Skandia Gateway project.

Next, a project organisation will be formed, and offices will be established adjacent to the Port of Gothenburg container terminal ahead of the ceremony scheduled for February 2024.

“The stage has been set for a long time, and it is with great confidence that we can now press the button and proceed with this project, which is so crucial for the competitiveness of Swedish industry. It is high time that we get started,” Said Göran Eriksson, CEO of the Gothenburg Port Authority.

Direct shipping without transshipment across the world’s oceans to and from the Port of Gothenburg is a vital prerequisite for the Swedish industry to reach global markets efficiently in terms of both climate and cost, according to the Port of Gothenburg. However, as the largest vessels have become increasingly larger, a deeper fairway in the port is required.

Over 15 years, the capacity of containerships has increased by 50 per cent, and currently, the largest ships can only enter the Port of Gothenburg half-loaded. Meanwhile, shipping companies are envisioning even larger vessels.

READ: Port of Gothenburg cargo volume remains stable amid peak season

“This is not about the port’s raison d’être, but about ensuring that we continue to serve Swedish industry in the future,” Eriksson added.

“The current fairway depth is already a limitation as shipping companies are restricted in their choice of route to reach Gothenburg. With the fairway deepening, the largest vessels can enter fully loaded in the future, which in turn provides flexibility in existing traffic. It’s a climate aspect in itself, while the port becomes interesting in even more line setups.”

Skandia Gateway is a collaborative project where the Gothenburg Port Authority is responsible for quay reinforcement measures in the container terminal, while the Swedish Maritime Administration is responsible for measures in the fairway. Initially, 700 metres of quay will be reinforced.

This is a prerequisite for the quay to be ready to accommodate larger vessels than possible today, and for the Swedish Maritime Administration to start dredging work in a 5-kilometre stretch of the fairway, where 11 million cubic metres of clay will be excavated.

Jenny Röström, Project Manager at the Swedish Maritime Administration, said: “The EU’s decision gives us the opportunity to continue working on Skandia Gateway to achieve the joint goal of completion by 2027/2028 for the Swedish Maritime Administration and the Gothenburg Port Authority.

“For the Swedish Maritime Administration, we are working on procuring a contractor for fairway measures, aiming to commence dredging work after the summer of 2026.”

Earlier this year, the Port of Los Angeles and the Port of Gothenburg signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to strengthen their partnership and collaboration in multiple domains.

More recently, APM Terminal (APMT) in Gothenburg reported its highest quarterly volume of containers ever, despite many shipping lines reporting declines.

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