A German municipality has hired a Polish lawyer and is preparing a lawsuit against the investment in a container terminal in Świnoujście. In her opinion, the construction of a new terminal will destroy the environment and expose the commune to losses.
According to the German news agency DPA, the commune of Heringsdorf, bordering Poland, is preparing a lawsuit regarding the construction of a container terminal in Świnoujście. She has hired a Polish lawyer and intends to apply for full access to administrative files.
Germany is preparing a lawsuit
There are arguments that the construction of the port will violate the Natura 2000 site, where construction is allowed only if it does not harm nature. In addition, German critics fear negative effects on the tourism industry on the island of Usedom. The authorities of the Heringsdorf commune on the German side argue that the existence of the port may discourage tourists from coming. The municipality plans to commission studies that will assess whether these concerns are justified.
The government of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is also critical of the construction of a container port on the Polish side of Usedom. Economy Minister Reinhard Meyer fears environmental damage.
Containers in the Baltic Sea
Compared to the North Sea, the Baltic Sea has a very poorly developed container infrastructure. In the ranking of container transshipments on the Baltic Sea, the container port in Gdańsk is currently leading, leaving behind the previous leaders, i.e. the Russian ports of Primorsk and Saint Petersburg. A similar success can also be enjoyed by the much smaller port in Gdynia.
Currently, transshipment in Gdańsk reaches 3.5 million TEU (capacity unit used for ports and ships), and in Gdynia – 1 million TEU. The potential of the port of Gdańsk will increase to 4.5 TEU in the coming years. The new container port in Świnoujście will be able to reload up to 2 million TEUs per year, handling two ships at the same time, one 400 m long and one 200 m long.
The transshipment capacity of the Polish coast will therefore have a total potential of 7.5 million TEU, which is approximately equivalent to the largest German container port in Hamburg, where nearly 8 million TEU are transshipped annually. It is worth bearing in mind that Germany does not have container ports on its Baltic coast.