EU to fund dredging Lithuanian port channel

EU to fund port expansion in Lithuania

The Klaipeda State Seaport Authority in Lithuania and the Central Project Management Agency signed the contract for assignment of the EU funds to dredge the navigation channel up to – 15 meters in Klaipeda Port.

Having completed the dredging works of the navigation channel the permitted draught of vessels will be increased up to -13.8 m from the northern part of the port to Malku Bay.

This will allow the port to fully load the vessels calling at the port and reduce navigation traffic, shorten cargo transportation time, reduce air pollution, and even more ensure navigation safety.

Algis Latakas, CEO of Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, said: “Global logistic market trends are based on the economies of scale: that the larger vessels are used for more cost-effective waterborne cargo transportation. The number of such vessels calling Klaipeda Port is also growing.

“According to latest statistical information, the capacity of vessels calling at Klaipeda has grown by 26.6 % in the last 6 years. If we want to adjust successfully to the global changes in the market, we have to take far-sighted decisions and continuously invest in infrastructure improvement.”

The Authority said the port dredging project is also very important from the environmental point of view.

Shipping companies cannot use vessels in the most effective way as and cargo transportation so far is carried out by partly loaded or smaller vessels. Therefore comparatively more resources are used for transportation of the same quantity of cargo.

This results in longer transportation time and the higher transportation costs and for the same quantity of cargo. Moreover, intensified navigation has negative impact on air quality.

The dredging works should start in the beginning of next year. The port depth should reach – 15 meters until spring 2022.

The Authority plans to invest $574.8 million (€483 million) into expansion of Klaipeda Port in 2021–2024. This project will be co-financed from the EU structural funds to the amount of $20.6 million (€17.3 million).

The majority of resources will be assigned to construction and reconstruction projects of the portquays, and dredging works.

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