The Port of Gothenburg has said the Skrandia Gateway project, its plan to deepen the main waterway for cargo ships, has been approved after the Gothenburg City Council passed a resolution to grant approximately 1.2 billion kroner ($140 million).
In a statement the Port said the sum was matched by the Swedish Transport Administration as the country looks to update its infrastructure.
“This is the most important port project in Sweden this century. Gothenburg has been the logistics capital of Scandinavia for 400 years and following this decision it is set to consolidate and build on that position for the next 400 years,” said Elvir Dzanic, Gothenburg Port Authority chief executive.
Direct services to and from the Port of Gothenburg across the oceans of the world without the need for transshipment are vitally important if Swedish companies are to reach global markets in a way that is both climate-friendly and cost-effective, according to the Port.
However, as ships continue to grow in size and require a deeper draught, development of the fairway is crucial.
At present the very largest ships can only call at the Port of Gothenburg half loaded, and the ships that are required to keep pace with global maritime expansion are becoming bigger by the year.
“This is a race where we need to keep up if we are to maintain our position as a major international port here in Sweden,” Dzanic continued. “Without the largest ships the port will be marginalised, forcing many Swedish companies into using inefficient alternatives that are damaging to the environment and with a resulting loss of competitiveness.”
Skandia Gateway is a joint project being run by the Gothenburg Port Authority, the Swedish Maritime Administration, and the Swedish Transport Administration. With funding now in place, the three organisations can move forward and enter into an implementation agreement for this much sought-after project, the Port said.
Jörgen Einarsson, Regional Director of the Swedish Transport Administration Western Region, described the agreement for joint funding as “an important milestone.”
Deepening the fairway will also be beneficial from a socioeconomic point of view. According to Swedish Transport Administration estimates, each krona invested will produce four kronor in return, with a payback period of just 15 years.