Port of Gdansk

From Global Energy Monitor

The Port of Gdańsk is a seaport located on the southern coast of Gdańsk Bay in the city of Gdańsk, extending along the Vistula estuary Martwa Wisła (Dead Vistula), Port Channel and Kashubia Canal. It is the largest seaport in Poland and is one of the largest seaports on the Baltic Sea. It is a major hub for coal moving into and out of Poland.


The map below shows the location of the coal terminal at the Port of Gdansk, located in the Outer Port. The terminals and quays of the Inner Port can be seen along the channel to the west of the coal terminal.

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The port of Gdansk has been operating for centuries, first referenced in 999 AD, and has served as a major hub for European trade during various historical periods.[1] The Port of Gdańsk is divided into two areas. The first is the Inner Port, comprising the Dead Vistula and the port channel. The second is the Outer Port, located on the waters of Gdańsk Bay, which handles large shipping vessels and includes the port's coal terminal.[2] However, coal can also be processed at other terminals at the port if necessary.[3]

As of March 2021, the port had a maximum annual capacity of 60 million metric tonnes per annum (mtpa).[3] In 2018, 2019, and 2020, the port averaged about 50 million tonnes of cargo handled. Coal shipments peaked in 2018 at 7.2 million tonnes and declined to 5.7 million tonnes in 2020.[4] In 2015, 58% of coal handled at the Port of Gdansk was exported.[5] However, nearly all of the coal processed in 2018 was imported, with only marginal volumes of thermal coal re-exported from Gdansk to Scandinavia[6] The majority of the imported coal is coking coal, which is used in the metallurgical, foundry and heating industries.[7]

Infrastructure Investments

In 2019, the Port of Gdansk announced investments to double the capacity of its railway system, increasing the number of coal-carrying trains leaving the coal terminal from 9 to 18. The lack of rail capacity created a bottleneck in the port's coal-handling capabilities. The rail expansion project was originally planned for completion in 2019.[6] In January 2021, it was reported that the rail expansion would be complete by mid-2021, with a total investment value of EUR163 million.[8]


In September 2019, Greenpeace activists blocked a coal delivery ship from Mozambique, the Goodwill, from docking at the Port of Gdansk. The activists used the Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior to prevent the Goodwill from docking. Polish customs agents soon boarded the Rainbow Warrior, broke into her wheelhouse and detained her master on suspicion of violating maritime safety regulations. Two days later, the coal delivery was held up again by activists who scaled two unloading cranes at the terminal, stringing up banners and blocking the equipment's operation. The activists were demanding that the Polish government commit to a total phase-out of coal by 2030.[9][10]

Project Details

  • Operator: Gdańsk Seaport Authority
  • Annual Capacity (Tonnes): 60 million
  • Status: Operating
  • Sources of coal: Poland (exports); Mozambique, Australia, Canada (imports)[7]



  1. The Port and the City, Gdansk Port Authority S.A., Accessed Sep. 5, 2021
  2. About Port, Gdansk Port Authority S.A., Accessed Sep. 5, 2021
  3. 3.0 3.1 Ports and Logistics Scoping Study in CAREC Countries, Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program, March 2021, p. 6-7
  4. Facts and Figures, Gdansk Port Authority S.A., Accessed Sep. 5, 2021
  5. Over 37 million tonnes of cargo at the Port of Gdansk in 2016, Poland at Sea, Feb. 14, 2017
  6. 6.0 6.1 Gdansk port expansion planned to ease coal imports, Argus Media, Feb. 28, 2019
  7. 7.0 7.1 [photos-video-.html Unloading of nearly 100,000 tons of coking coal at the Port of Gdansk], Marine Poland, Aug. 17, 2021
  8. Port of Gdansk reports key stages of €1.3 billion infrastructure improvement plan will complete in 2021, Hellenic Shipping News, Jan. 13, 2021
  9. Greenpeace Blocks Coal Delivery Twice at Port of Gdansk, Maritime Executive, Sep. 11, 2019
  10. Climate crisis: Greenpeace activists detained, stop coal shipment in Poland, Greenpeace, Sep. 10, 2019

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