The waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk will be ready later than planned. The investment will also take more money. The government plans to adopt a resolution providing for an increase of PLN 143 million in funds for the implementation of the programme. It was noted that the main reason is the change in the prices of materials and construction works.
On Tuesday, government websites published information on the draft resolution of the Council of Ministers amending the resolution on establishing a long-term program under the name “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk”. The Ministry of Infrastructure is responsible for its preparation.
Higher waterway costs
The amendment to the resolution provides increasing the total amount of funds for the program from PLN 1,984,051,500 to PLN 2,127,494,304extending the deadline for the implementation of the program to 2024 and introducing an updated material and financial schedule.
It was noted that the draft amendment to Resolution No. 57/2016 of the Council of Ministers of 24 May 2016 on the establishment of a long-term program for 2016-2023 “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk” is “necessary for the implementation of the programme”. “It concerns an increase in the total amount of funds for the Program to PLN 2,127,494,304 (by 7.2% of the total value), extending the implementation deadline to 2024 and introducing an updated material and financial schedule” – we read.
The draft resolution is to be adopted by the Council of Ministers later this month.
Increase in prices of materials and construction works
The government pointed out that the main reason for the change in the resolution was the increase in investment costs caused by the change in the prices of materials and construction works on the construction market. “It should be noted that the increase in the rates of dredging works is influenced to the greatest extent by the increase in the cost of fuel for dredgers. Fuel prices on the Polish and global market as a result of an armed conflict in the territory Ukraine increased by several dozen percent (according to the data of the Polish Organization of Oil Industry and Trade diesel prices from 2020 to the end of October 2022, they increased by 53 percent).
Another important price-setting element – as it was added – are the salaries of the contractor’s staff, which are constantly increasing in line with the increase in salaries caused by inflation.
“Due to the need to obtain an increase in funds for the implementation of the program, it is also necessary to extend the implementation schedule. The Maritime Office in Gdynia has taken steps related to the implementation of the scope in question for which additional funds are needed. However, the tender procedure may be announced after obtaining a decision on increasing the funds for the program ” – stated.
The government stressed that the above situation had a direct impact on the need to extend the program implementation period. “Adoption of a resolution by the Council of Ministers on increasing the total expenditure on the program and extending the deadline for its implementation will allow for its implementation in the scope established in the resolution” – it was assured.
The waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk
Works on the Vistula Spit started in October 2019. In September 2022, the shipping channel through the Vistula Spit was symbolically opened, after the completion of the first stage of the project “Construction of a waterway connecting the Vistula Lagoon with the Gulf of Gdańsk”.
The second stage of the investment includes the reconstruction of the existing fairway, approximately 10.4 km long, on the Elbląg River in terms of bank support, which will eventually take over the functions of earth flood embankments, construction of low harbors facilitating access to the river and construction of a swing bridge over the Elbląg River in Nowakowo along with changes to the road system. Work on the second stage began in April 2021.
As part of the third stage, the construction of a fairway on the Vistula Lagoon is being carried out, over a length of approximately 8.2 km. “The task in question is an important part of the waterway and its scope includes the fairway from the mouth of the Elbląg River to the canal through the Vistula Spit, as well as the construction of new navigation markings” – we read on the website of the Maritime Office in Gdynia, i.e. the investor. Work on this part of the investment began in May 2022.
After completion of all works, the shipping canal will allow vessels with a draft of up to 4.5 meters, a length of up to 100 meters and a width of up to 20 meters to flow from the Gulf of Gdańsk to the Vistula Lagoon.
Main photo source: NDI/BESIX press materials