The Port of Gdansk Authority (PGA) has begun exploring possible connections to Belarus via inland waterways as part of a larger project to connect to the Black Sea.
A working group has been appointed to explore the feasibility of connecting the Gulf of Gdansk and the Vistula Lagoon, both on the Baltic Sea, with river systems in Belarus.
This feasibility study is part of a larger plan to connect the Baltic Sea with Black Sea as Gdansk seeks to enhance its position as a key European transit country in Europe.
Marcin Osowski, vice president of the board and director of infrastructure at PGA, said: “Ensuring navigability of the Wisla River and creating a system of waterways that will connect Gdansk and Warsaw with the Black Sea is one of our development priorities.
“If we want to be able to handle growing volumes in the future without problems, we have to provide proper access infrastructure from land, also in the form of inland waterways.”
The group are particularly looking at the E-40 waterway of the Wisla River connecting Gdansk, Warsaw, Belarusian border, and the E-70 waterway connecting the Wisla to the Vistula Lagoon.
The PGA hopes to complete the study by the start of 2018, and it will then be sent to Poland’s ministry of maritime economy and inland navigation.
Edward Antanasiu, director of the investment project department at the PGA, said: “This project will involve much more than just restoring effective navigation – we also have to consider areas such as protection against flooding, hydropower engineering, water retention and tourism.”
The PGA has invited government representatives as well as experts and researchers from a host of Polish universities to assist with the study.