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New feasibility study recommends extension of Klaipeda Port: Would deliver 30.000 new jobs for the region
To maintain its leading position in the region, Klaipeda port needs to expand and build a deep-sea port. These are the recommendations of a new feasibility report conducted by UAB “Smart Continent LT “, a leading Lithuanian Management and Business Consulting firm. The report presents a cost-benefit analysis of a projected port expansion, as well as a number of scenarios for its undertaking.
One of the report’s key findings is that the Klaipeda port needs to be developed to stay in line with the increased containerisation of the freight industry. At present only 12% of the loads received at Klaipeda port come in containers. When this is compared to fact that one of Klaipeda’s closest competitors, Gdansk port currently handles 76% more containers, and St. Petersburg, 66% more, it is more than apparent that to remain competitive, Klaipeda needs to increase its container freight.
The report projects that following the expansion and deepening of Klaipeda port, the port’s capacity would be immediately doubled – up to 80 million tonnes a year. Moreover, the development of the port would deliver a huge boost to the local economy, with a predicted 25,000 to 30,000 new jobs being created by 2040. Add to this the ancillary benefits created by the addition of the new rail and road transport links that the expanded port would necessitate, and it becomes very clear that the project has the potential to greatly improve the region’s economy.
The projected cost of the project is 800 million EUR, with a project completion date provisionally set for 2025.
With Klaipeda Port’s position as the most northerly ice-free port in the EU and a key driver of competitiveness in the region firmly in their focus, the Port’s representatives are convinced that these recommended developments are essential for the region’s development. They will not only greatly expand the port’s container freight capacity but will also act as a significant lure for foreign direct investment.
This increase in foreign investment would be most strongly felt in Klaipeda FEZ, which is already Lithuania’s most successful Free Economic Zone. This year alone has seen increases in the FEZ located production facilities and output of global PET manufactures Retal and Neo Group, who ship their products globally. Any expansion of port capacities would only drive this growth exponentially.