An international consortium of experts will study ways to restore the waterway between the Baltic and Black Seas

MINSK, BelTA/BR The contract to conduct the feasibility study was signed in Minsk on 29 January,  reported the Secretariat of the Commission on the Development of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section.

The contract was signed between the Maritime Institute in Gdansk (Poland), which heads the consortium, and Republican Unitary Maintenance and Construction Enterprise Dnieper-Bug Waterway, the customer of the feasibility study.

The consortium also includes the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, ChernomorNIIproekt research institute (Ukraine), Institute of Economics, Transport and Logistics (Germany) and European-Ukrainian Agency for Business and Innovation (Germany).

Experts are to analyze the economic, technical, environmental, financial, legal and other aspects of the revival of the waterway between Gdansk and Kherson. The experts are expected to present their findings by the end of 2015.

Within eleven months, the consortium, as the winner of the international tender, should conduct the feasibility study of the use of the E-40 Waterway and offer three options to restore it.

The European Union has undertaken the financing of the joint project and will allocate almost €500,000 for this purpose. More detailed assignments for all five organizations will be identified at a special meeting to be held at the end of February this year.

“Great experience which all members of the Consortium have will help us get a really good study. For example, for over 50 years the Maritime Institute in Gdansk has been engaged in studying the economics of water transport. The Institute of Transport and Logistics has successfully executed orders not only in Europe but also in China, the Gulf countries,” said Nikolai Kotetsky, the director of Republican Unitary Maintenance and Construction Enterprise Dnieper-Bug Waterway.

Going through Poland, Belarus and Ukraine, the E-40 Waterway connects the ports of Gdansk and Kherson via the rivers Vistula, Western Bug River, Pripyat and Dnieper. However, its section on the Bug River, between Warsaw and Brest, is unnavigable. In addition, this section is crossed by the environmental parks, the European environmental network Natura 2000. Therefore, planning and construction of hydraulic structures requires the most careful analysis.

The restored water route will enable to transport up to 4 million tonnes of cargo annually. This will certainly intensify trade between Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. The E40 connection will also facilitate the development of modern logistics infrastructure in border regions of the three neighboring countries

The project “Restoration of the E40 Waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula Section: From Strategy To Planning” is implemented under the cross-border cooperation program Poland-Belarus-Ukraine 2007-2013.

The program is funded by the European Union within the framework of the European Neighborhood and Partnership Instrument.

The project is implemented in partnership with the regional authorities, organizations in the field of water management and public organizations of Belarus, Poland and Ukraine with the support of the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus, the Ministry of Infrastructure of Poland and the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Ukraine.

The lead partner of the project is Republican Unitary Maintenance and Construction Enterprise Dnieper-Bug Waterway.