Reconstruction of Klaipeda Seaport breakwaters to increase competitiveness of economy in Lithuania
Today reconstruction of the symbol of Klaipeda Seaport – the breakwaters - has been officially launched, Port of Klaipeda says in a press release. These breakwaters, protecting the Seaport from sea waves, were constructed more than a century ago. Reconstruction of the breakwaters and capital dredging of navigation channel up to 17 metres will open the access of the largest vessels entering the Baltic Sea.
"This project is highly significant both to Klaipeda Seaport and the entire country. The Seaport is one of the most important driving force of the economy of Lithuania. The highly developed Seaport generates income to the State budget and promotes the regional economy viability. I am glad to mention that even during this very complicated period Klaipeda Seaport remains the leading port of the Baltic countries. In order to remain on top we must adapt constantly to changing market conditions, invest into the Port development and improvement and create conditions to open the sea gates for the large vessels“, told the minister of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Lithuania Jaroslav Narkevič.
The total value of reconstruction works is approximately EUR 49 million (including VAT). EU Cohesion Fund will finance this project as well. This reconstruction is significant from the viewpoint of the Seaport competitiveness and ecology. It has been anticipated that navigation safety and the efficiency of logistics chain will increase after implementation of this project; due to the shorter period of time spent in the outer roads the air pollution from vessels will decrease. „ Reconstruction of breakwaters will assure the higher level of navigation safety. Presently, in case of unfavourable weather conditions or heavy seas, in order to assure the navigation safety, certain restrictions are being applied to vessels calling the Seaport, especially concerning the large vessels. It is anticipated that the number of vessel navigation restriction days per a year will decrease nearly by the one-third. This project will allow to dredge the Port channel up to 17 metres and to accommodate the largest vessels capable to enter the Baltic Sea. It means the new possibilities both for Klaipeda Seaport and the competitiveness of the economy of Lithuania“, told Algis Latakas, director general of Klaipeda State Seaport Authority.
The winner of the open tender procedure is the consortium of German company "Hecker Bau GmbH & CO. KG.“ and Belgium company "Herbosch – Kiere N.V.“ In recent years these companies have performed the large scope infrastructure projects in Hamburg, Antwerp, Ostend, Harelbeke, Cuxhaven and some other venues.
"Reconstruction of Klaipeda Seaport breakwaters is our first project implement in Lithuania, therefore we are feeling the enormous responsibility. We are proud to be the part of the project that will contribute to the growth of the economy of your country“ – said Benny De Sutter, director general of "Herbosch – Kiere N.V.“ Because of pandemic disease quests could not participate at the ceremony, therefore they forwarded their congratulations via remote video messages.
"We are sure that reconstruction of breakwaters will assure even better conditions for vessels with larger draughts to enter the Seaport regardless unfavourable weather conditions. We, as the Seaport contractors, have the great experience in the sphere of this construction activity – the company has been operating nearly a hundred and a half years already. We have a very professional and a strong team which, undoubtedly, will implement smoothly this project“, told the director general of "Hecker Bau GmbH & CO. KG.“ Christoph Wellendorf.
It has been planned to reinforce present Southern and Northern breakwaters without changing their configuration. Altitude of both breakwaters will become higher, retaining walls will be constructed in the part of Southern and Northern breakwaters. After reconstruction of breakwaters the direction of navigation shall be turned by 104 and 284 degrees, navigation channel will be dredged up to 17 metres. Two sightseeing points for people will be constructed on the Southern breakwater.
The breakwaters’ reconstruction project is to be completed in 2023.