Photo: Port of Gothenburg
The Gothenburg City Council has earmarked SEK1.2b (ca. €120m) for deepening the Port of Gothenburg's fairway, a sum matched by the Swedish Transport Administration, meaning that the project can now kick off.
After quay reinforcement (works are scheduled to start in 2022), dredging (some 12m m3; 2024), and completion of deeper quays (2026), the port will be able to handle 430 m-long and 65 m-wide ships with a maximum draught of 17.5 m (today's largest container ships can already call to Gothenburg, but only half loaded).
"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. 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," Elvir Dzanic, Chief Executive, Gothenburg Port Authority (GPA), underlined.
"According to previous estimates, the cost of deepening the fairway to accommodate ships with a draught of 16.5 metres would be around 4 billion kronor. More detailed calculations now reveal the cost to be around 2.5 billion kronor and achieving a draught of 17.5 metres. The difference can be attributed to the application of more modern construction solutions that emerged during the early stages of the project, coupled with meticulous fairway design optimisation," GPA wrote in a press release.
To this Joel Smith, Head of the Swedish Maritime Administration Infrastructure Department, added, "After a number of simulations, we have optimised the layout of the fairway and the dredging requirements. By doing so we have ensured that government funding is being used responsibly."
According to the Swedish Transport Administration's estimates, each Swedish crown invested will produce four in return, with a payback period of just 15 years. Dzanic also highlighted in this regard, "A further aspect of the project as a whole is the 22,000 people in the Gothenburg region who are directly or indirectly dependent on the Port of Gothenburg for their livelihood. For that reason in particular I'm extremely pleased and relieved that we have been given the green light to press ahead with our plans, which will result in winners on many fronts."