In 2022, the Freeport of Riga Authority plans to invest 19.8 million euros in the development of the port’s infrastructure that is by 24% or 3.8 million euros more than last year. Out of the total investments, approximately 60% or 11.6 million euros are funding from the budget of the Freeport of Riga Authority, and 40% of 7.8 million euros are co-funding from the European Union Funds.
The Investment plan of the Freeport of Riga Authority for 2022 provides for cleaning and dredging of the navigational waters at the port, various improvements to the port’s hydrotechnical constructions, as well as modernisation of several berths. Moreover, construction and reconstruction of access roads and overpasses, development of railway infrastructure, as well as investments in the information technologies, digitalisation and implementation of automation projects are planned.
Chairman of the board of the Freeport of Riga Authority, Viesturs Zeps: “The planned investments are crucial to improve the port’s competitiveness and capacity performance indicators. This will also improve safety and security at the port and enable servicing larger vessels, less adverse impact on the environment and the global ecosystem. Our goal is to strengthen the positions of the Port of Riga in the logistics chains, to create the required pre-conditions for the growth of the port and companies operating at the port, to develop the passenger transport sector and improve the processes of smart technologies at the port.”
One of the key infrastructure projects in which almost half of the investments provided for 2022 will be invested, is construction of the overpass from Tvaika Street to Kundzinsala. Implementation of this project will contribute to less polluting road freight to/from the port terminals in Kundzinsala, i.e., the trucks will be redirected away from the city centre, reducing the time spent on the road, traffic jams involving trucks and the related emissions in the city and neighbourhoods near the port. The construction works envisaged within the project are scheduled to be completed by the end of 2023.
Moreover, the design and reconstruction of the railway bridge to Kundzinsala (on Uriekstes Street) will be started in 2022 and the construction is expected to be completed by mid-2023. It is also planned to continue with the coastline reinforcement in Daugavgriva (reinforcement of the BKRR dam), that was started in 2020.
The port is constantly seeking fund-raising options from various EU funds aiming to make significant improvements to the common hydrotechnical constructions. In 2022, we will also focus on the elaboration of technical documentation for the reconstruction of the Western and Eastern piers. The project proposal is already developed and submitted to the EU CEF programme. From spring 2022 till spring 2023, it is planned to complete the development of construction projects and if funding is granted, construction will be carried out from 2023 to 2025.
We will also continue working on the development of the port territory in Spilve. The working group established by the Freeport of Riga Authority together with business consultants, experts, LIAA, associations of municipalities and businesspeople have scrutinised the 450 ha large territory of Spilve. Economic feasibility study was conducted, the territory was divided in 4 development zones and it is planned to work actively on the perspective development of Territory A that is 78 ha large, including elaborating the local plan of the territory and clarifying optional business models. Negotiations with the potential investors and operators is planned, assessing the opportunities of raising EU funds and private funding, including consultations with the European Investment Bank.
In 2022, we will continue working on the project “Improvement and promotion of the East Baltic Coast harbours network, EST-LAT177”. This project contributes to improvement of infrastructure of several Riga yacht ports, making the marinas of Riga more accessible and attractive for local and foreign sailing enthusiasts. The project is implemented within the framework of the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) INTERREG Estonia-Latvia Cross-border Cooperation Programme 2014–2020.
It is also planned to develop a draft for a new, modern passenger terminal project that would promote higher cruise ship and ferry traffic at the Port of Riga and that would consequently increase the number of ship passengers in Riga. Within the framework of this project, the Freeport of Riga Authority has started development of construction project of the berth in Eksporta port, it is also planned to raise external funding for research work to install alternative electricity connection for cruise and other passenger ships.
Considering the importance of smart technologies and green energy and their impact on the national economy and business processes, the Freeport of Riga Authority plans to develop and invest in the projects of green energy, smart technologies and IT projects. The Freeport of Riga Authority plans to invest almost one million euros in the implementation of port’s digital technologies and IT solutions.