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16-12-2019

The Master Plan for the Port of Klaipeda Has Been Approved

The Lithuanian Government has approved the master plan for the Port of Klaipeda. This plan will allow the port to plan its expansion by forming a new dry land territory close to the Smelte peninsula and expand further north if the circumstances demand, reports Verslo zinios.

The space of an outer deepwater port as a strategic object for the state of Lithuania should be analyzed and evaluated in another document that is being worked on currently, the master plan for the whole territory of the Republic of Lithuania, which is being adjusted right now.

The master plan of the port, which has been approved by the Lithuanian Cabinet of Ministers on Wednesday, lays down the strategic direction of port development and its three-dimensional concept of growth for the next 25 years, while concrete decisions have been made for the next 15 years.

The approved document is a part of a project of state-level importance, which determines the course of development for the port territory, which belongs to the Klaipeda Municipality, as well as the inner port area, and the Baltic Sea territory, which belongs to Lithuania as a part of the outer edge of the port, together with all related infrastructure.

According to the Government, the decisions reflected in the master plan will give the port ample opportunities to remain competitive, react quickly to changing conditions in the market, as well as create the required infrastructure for operation.

After the approval of the master plan, the port should be able to develop the southern side of its territory by utilizing the reserved lands and forming a new dry land area by the Smelte peninsula, while also reaching 17m depth in the port fairways, with the possibility of expanding north if circumstances require it as well.

The expansion of the port and the possibility of building an outer port, which may cost around 800 million EUR, has been discussed in Klaipeda for almost a decade. The politicians are discussing the possibility of having the outer port completed by 2025.

“The Port of Klaipeda really needs an oceanic container terminal. We will start with the southern side, we’ve already started reinforcing the quays, dredging operations to deepen the waters will be next. After the southern port is built, we will look at the demand for oceanic shipping. Then, using the new income, we will be able to start talking about the outer port,” Arturas Drungilas, the Marketing Director for the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority, said this summer.

The plan to make a new 80 ha landmass in the Curonian Lagoon, while a 130 ha peninsula in the sea around Melnrage for the outer port is being considered. According to the State Seaport Authority, this would solve the main problems the port struggles with today, allowing it to support the biggest ships in the world capable of entering the Baltic Sea, as well as creating new capacity for cargo turnover.

According to the Government, the approval of the master plan would also ensure the possibility of developing public projects. Developing the new territory in the southern part of the port, near the Smelte peninsula would allow the southern gates to the port to be opened, including a recreational marina zone; it would be possible to open a new cruise ship terminal in the city center, in the Dane River.

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