The newly appointed Danish Transport Minister Magnus Heunicke is taking over in an exciting period, where massive investments will give the Danish infrastructure a badly needed boost. Copenhagen Malmö Port (CMP) asked the Minister whether freight transport in the Öresund region will also be accommodated.
CMP: How can we strengthen the Öresund region’s importance from the Danish side in relation to freight?
Magnus Heunicke: “It is important that we have a satisfactory framework within which CMP can develop its operations. As Minister for Transport, I can be involved in this. However, the port is also responsible for developing and investing in those business areas which it deems to have long-term perspectives. It is important for growth in the region that the port is doing well.”
CMP: Investment in growth is taking place on both sides of the Sound. Can CMP position itself as a strong strategic partner?
MH: “I feel it is positive that CMP is investing in the long- term on both sides of the Sound. We know that the volume of goods will increase in the future, and CMP’s plans to expand terminals on both the Danish and the Swedish side provides an opportunity for CMP to consolidate its position as a hub for freight transport.”
CMP: How will the overall investments in infrastructure support growth in the region, and particularly in Copenhagen?
MH: “The arrangements we have made in the transport area in recent years represent a substantial investment in infrastructure in Denmark, as well as in projects which promote the mobility of freight transport in the Copenhagen region. It is first and foremost the expansion of the Køge Bugt Motorway, but also the new railway between Copenhagen and Ringsted, which will facilitate the passage of freight in the region. We will shortly be presenting a proposal for a port tunnel underneath Copenhagen’s port. If viable financing can be found, and local problems of access etc. can be resolved, this is a scheme which can create development in the capital. For CMP too, which will obtain better access conditions.”
CMP: What is the significance of the EU designating CMP a Core Port?
MH: “I am delighted that the EU Commission has prioritized making CMP a core network port in an EU context. It means that the port has been designated a central hub in the trans-European transport network, and it will be better placed to obtain EU support in collaborating with other actors in the region. It goes without saying that I hope CMP exploits the opportunities that come with being a core network port.”
CMP: How will the increased environmental requirements affect the shipping and transport sectors in the coming years?
MH: “From 2015, international requirements will be introduced demanding that ships sailing in the North Sea and the Baltic reduce their emissions of sulphur and other pollutants. I know that the industry is working hard to meet these requirements. It is therefore important that ships are able to refuel with alternative fuels such as liquefied natural gas in the ports, and I hope that as a core network port CMP is involved in making it possible.”