EU co-financing to help Belarus, Poland and Ukraine to plan restoration of the E40 waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula section

2014-02-07

The project, which aims to develop and approve an optimal scenario for the restoration of an important international arterial waterway E40 on the section Dnieper-Vistula-Oder, is funded by the European Union within the Poland-Belarus-Ukraine cross-border cooperation programme for 2007-2013. The project is being implemented by the Republican unitary maintenance and construction enterprise "Dnepro-Bug Waterway" in partnership with regional authorities, organizations that deal with management of water resources, as well as civil society organizations from Belarus, Poland and Ukraine. The project is supported by the Ministry of Transport and Communications of the Republic of Belarus, Ministry of Infrastructure of the Republic of Poland, and Ministry of Transportation and Communication of Ukraine.

Waterway connection E40 Dnieper-Vistula-Oder connects the basins of the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea. At the moment, this waterway is not used to its full potential, because the section from Brest to Warsaw along the Zachodni Buh is not navigable. The issue of the Dnieper-Vistula-Oder waterway restoration has been discussed on the national and European level for many years already; it had even been on the agenda of the UNECE Working Party on Inland Water Transport. However, until now, possible scenarios of the missing section's restoration have not been examined in full detail.

As the result of the two-year project, a permanent cross-border Commission on the development of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway will be established; its members will include representatives of regional authorities, ministries, research institutes, transport and logistics enterprises, as well as environmental organizations from three countries. Another major result of the project will be a comprehensive feasibility study for restoration of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway; the study will be developed with involvement of European experts from the EU programme NAIADES (Navigation and Inland Waterway Action and Development in Europe). Once the feasibility study is ready, experts and stakeholders will choose the most economically efficient and environmentally friendly scenario for the waterway restoration, which will be then approved at all levels. Project activities will start next month: in January 2014, experts of the partner organizations will gather in Pinsk for a working meeting, and in February-March 2014, the city of Brest will host an international Opening conference, which will be combined with the 1st session of the Commission on the Dnieper-Vistula waterway restoration.

Restoration of the E40 waterway will make it possible for the border regions of Poland, Belarus and Ukraine to become a multimodal transportation centre of international importance. It will also reduce traffic on roads, increase the flow of goods through the border regions, and contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions due to the greater usage of water transport. In addition, with the E40 waterway restored, it will be possible to use the unique potential of the Dnepro-Bug waterway for the development of international water tourism.

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International experts started to plan restoration of the E40 Dnieper-Vistula waterway

First steps on the way to the restoration of an important international arterial waterway E40 on the section Dnieper-Vistula were discussed in Pinsk (Belarus) on 3-4 February. Participants of the working meeting included experts of regional authorities, organizations that deal with management of water resources and civil society organizations from the Brest region (Belarus), Lubelskie Voivodeship (Poland) and Volyn region (Ukraine). All these institutions act as partners in the project "Restoration of the E40 waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula section: from strategy to planning".

Experts gathered in Pinsk in order to discuss organizational issued related to the establishment of the permanent cross-border Commission on the development of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway, as well as to start planning of the international inaugural conference and first session of the Commission, which is planned for late March 2014 in Brest. Main aim of the Commission will be to control the development of the feasibility study for the restoration of the Dnieper-Vistula waterway, to involve all interested stakeholders and civil society, and to create conditions for inclusion of the E-40 restoration project into the list of priority projects of the Trans-European Transport Networks in Europe (TEN-T). Members of the Commission will include representatives of regional authorities, ministries, research institutes, transport and logistics enterprises, as well as environmental organizations from three countries.

Another important point of discussion was preparation for the international open tender for the development of the feasibility study for the Dnieper-Vistula waterway restoration. Feasibility study will analyze existing cargo traffic, logistics schemes and technical characteristics of the E40 waterway and will examine at least three scenarios of its restoration. The study will calculate economic effect and investment outlay, will analyze the influence of all scenarios on local environment, and will suggest options for integrated use of the restored E40 waterway, including tourism development, construction of recreation areas and usage of renewable and alternative energy sources. The study will also compare all proposed options and will put forward an optimal construction scenario, while also giving recommendations for its further implementation. Final draft of the Terms of Reference for the feasibility study development will be ready by April 2014, to be followed by an open international tender. Winning subcontractor will be expected to start working on the feasibility study in July 2014.

‘Restoration of the Dnieper-Vistula-Oder waterway as a link that connects the Baltic Sea and the Black Sea has been on our minds for many years already,' said Aleksandr Zakharenko, Deputy Head of the Sea and River Transport Office of the Ministry of Transport of the Republic of Belarus, who was also present at the working meeting in Pinsk. ‘Establishment of the trilateral Commission and development of the feasibility study for the restoriation of the E40 waterway will make it possible for Belarus, Poland and Ukraine to make significant steps towards a solution to this strategic task.'

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Contact: Andrei Rekesh, Commission Secretary, project "Restoration of the E40 waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula section: from strategy to planning", tel. +375 165 30 11 76, +375 29 626 53 95, fax: +375 165 35 16 74, bko@dneprobug.by

Background information: project "Restoration of the E40 waterway on the Dnieper-Vistula section: from strategy to planning" is being implemented within the Poland-Belarus-Ukraine cross-border cooperation programme for 2007-2013. The programme is funded by the European Union within the European Partnership and Neighbourhood Instrument. Project partners: Republican unitary maintenance and construction enterprise "Dnepro-Bug Waterway" (Lead Partner, Belarus), Brest Regional (Oblast) Executive Committee (Belarus), Local Foundation for Promotion of International Dialogue and Cooperation "Interakcia" (Belarus), Volyn Regional Department of Water Resources (Ukraine), Public Organization "Volyn Association of Scientists and Innovators" (Ukraine), Marshal Office of the Lubelskie Voivodeship in Lublin (Poland), Association for regional and local development "Progress" (Poland).

 

 


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