The Port of Kiel experienced an 8.4 per cent increase in passenger traffic to nearly 2.4 million and an increase of 1.9 per cent increase in cargo throughput to 6.8 million tonnes in the year 2019.
Port managing director Dr Dirk Claus said that the rise in numbers could be traced to growth in the port’s ferry traffic and cruise traffic core business sectors.
Ferry traffic contributing more and more to overall transshipment rate
As regards the general cargo handled in the ferry traffic sector, the biggest volume was handled on the Kiel-Klaipeda service of shipping company DFDS. For the first time, 2.5 million tonnes of cargo were transhipped at the port and the frequency had even been augmented with an eighth weekly departure in autumn.
Investments in terminal facilities and environmental protection
The port is also currently investing nearly €30 million (US$33.29 million) in terminal facilities and environmental protection. After the apron in Ostuferhafen was completely redesigned last year in order to optimise logistical processes and to create more space for trucks, trailers, and passenger cars, the construction projects now focus on the city port.
The largest single investment of the Port of Kiel is the shore power supply plant for the Ostseekai and Schwedenkai terminals amounting to €13 million (US$14.42 million).
Construction works at the shore power supply plant started last autumn and the structural as well as the civil engineering is currently in progress. The technical equipment will follow so that the power plant can start test operations still during the season.
Dr Claus said the shore power plant at Ostseekai will be capable of supplying power to both a cruise ship and a ferry at the same time.
The port aims to supply shore-side power to 60 to 70 cruise ships during the first full operational year with a goal of supplying 60 per cent of the energy demand of ships visiting Kiel in future.
Nearly 200 cruise ship visits registered for this season
Last year, Kiel was visited on 175 separate occasions (169 in 2018) by 32 different cruise ships with a total gross tonnage of more than 15 million. More than 803,000 cruise passengers boarded or left a cruise ship at the different terminals within the port.
Dr Claus expects further growth in the coming season with nearly 200 cruise visits registered and possibly result in increase in gross tonnage to 16.7 million and in passengers to 880,000. The most frequent guests this season will be the ships of AIDA/Costa, TUI Cruises, and MSC, with AIDA and TUI Cruises calling at the port with four different ships each.
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