Historical milestone for Klaipeda: Dredging project completed

If a standard five-storey building was to stand in the middle of the Klaipeda port waters today, it would be completely underwater. The port waters and entrance channel dredging project that began at the Port of Klaipeda in 2020, has now been completed. 15.5 metres – this is now the depth of the Port of Klaipeda ship channel, and the harbour master will be issuing an order to increase the maximum permissible draught to 14.3 metres in the near future. 

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“Increasing the depth of the port channel is akin to widening a street. The throughput of the port to the city and the efficiency of the use of this infrastructure increase, and because larger vessels can be accommodated and loaded more, freight transit times as well as transportation costs decrease,” said Minister of Transport and Communications, Marius Skuodis.

“This project will undoubtedly contribute to making the Port of Klaipeda more competitive. On the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea, ports compete with maximum parameters in order to accommodate the largest vessels that come into the Baltic Sea. The depth is one of the most important factors for the competitiveness of ports.”

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A depth of 15.5 metres was reached in an almost 9-kilometre stretch of the Port of Klaipeda ship channel, and a depth of 16 metres was achieved in an outer 1.7 km stretch of the ship channel in a new direction outside the port gate.

The total value of the Port of Klaipeda dredging project comes to EUR 94.1 million, including VAT.

EUR 28 million were allocated to the project from the European Union Cohesion Fund.

Another EUR 9.9 million were allocated to the project from the government budget under the contract signed with the Ministry of Transport and Communications on 30 November 2022.

The remaining part of the project was financed by the Seaport Authority.

According to the Klaipeda State Seaport Authority strategic plan, further dredging of the port waters to a depth of 17 metres is planned for 2026.