EU visit focuses on more efficient transportation

Last updated 12/1/2014 4:28 PM
The transport network in Europe is going to be upgraded. CMP is a Core Port and is preparing a number of infrastructure initiatives. Some of them were presented when Pat Cox visited CMP recently. He is coordinating one of the EU’s very largest infrastructure projects – the ScanMed transport corridor.

Work on making the transport network in the EU more efficient is fully underway. This network will improve links between cities and financial centres – with the aim of increased transport capacity, competitiveness and economic development within the Union. Of equal importance is a reduction in the environmental impact of transportation.

The transport network is part of the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), which involves the creation of nine transport corridors in Europe. All kinds of traffic will be brought together in the corridors so that it is simple to move people and freight between road, rail, sea and air traffic. To achieve this, a lot of effort is being put into first identifying and then building out bottlenecks and ”missing links” in the future network.

Establish investment requirements

The largest transport corridor is called ScanMed and it extends 9,000 kilometres from Helsinki to Palermo. The EU’s work on ScanMed is being coordinated by the Irishman Pat Cox, who recently visited CMP in Copenhagen.

”In his role as coordinator, he visits all major ports within ScanMed, among other things, to obtain a picture of our investment requirements, but also to assess how the current facilities are functioning”, says Gert Nørgaard, CMP’s Strategy & Planning Manager. ”Pat Cox visited the new cruise terminal and was also informed about the plans to move our container terminal in Copenhagen”.

CMP’s facilities in Copenhagen and Malmö have been designated EU Core Ports. The ports’ geographic position and modern infrastructure will give them a strategic role when the ScanMed transport corridor becomes operational. It is easier for Core Ports to obtain partial financing from the EU for infrastructure initiatives, an area which was also on the agenda during Pat Cox’s visit.

”In terms of investments, we emphasised the issue of a new fixed connection between the port area and Copenhagen’s road network. A road tunnel is needed in order to increase the capacity of the transports to and from the cruise terminal and the future container terminal”, says Gert Nørgaard. ”The tunnel is a typical ”missing link” that we want to sort out. It will be 1 kilometre long and will hopefully be completed in 8 years”.
In the next stage, Pat Cox and his organisation will produce a report with proposals for new investments within the framework of ScanMed. The report is due in late autumn and will act as a basis for politicians in the countries through which the ScanMed corridor passes to make decisions.    

EU financing secured

Pat Cox was also informed of developments in Malmö, where investments in railway traffic are planned. The rail services’ limitations were already becoming evident when construction of Northern Harbour commenced.
”This is a bottleneck, which Pat Cox also agreed with after our presentation”, Gert Nørgaard observes. ”What is positive is that we have been granted partial financing from the EU to investigate how rail capacity in Malmö can be improved”.

It should also be added that freight traffic via rail to and from the port is expected to increase – from about ten trains today to about 45 trains per day by 2030. Together with the Swedish Transport Administration and Malmö Council, CMP will investigate the prospects of building a railway bridge to connect the different port areas. A bridge would free up capacity in Malmö’s freight yards, the largest railway junction in Southern Sweden. Moreover, it would shorten queueing times for trains to Northern Harbour.

”The study will be undertaken in 2015 with half the costs funded by EU money”, says Gert Nørgaard. ”We will be looking at what rail capacity is needed, but also how a future bridge should be designed”.

”Last but not least, an overview of the road network in the new industrial park in Malmö will be conducted”, he concludes. ”We are hoping that the study will lead to a decision being taken in 2016 regarding new investments. The potential also exists to obtain partial financing via the EU for the actual construction project. They can bear up to 20% of the construction costs”.

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