“We will announce a tender in April so as to find out whether it could be deepened to the depth of 16 meters,” Eugenijus Gentvilas, CEO of the port, said at a news conference last Friday.
The port also intended to team up with researchers so as to find out the maximum depth the port could be deepened to, he said.
“Perhaps researchers will find out that it could be, for example, deepened to 16.8 meters. Then we will seek to deepen it to 16.8 meters,” Gentvilas said.
Works to deepen the port to 14.5 meters, from the current 13 meters, will be launched in April. The Project worth 130 million litas (EUR 37.68 mln) will be carried out within a year by Dutch company Van Oord Dredging and Marine Contractors.
With investments in the port’s deepening and infrastructure implemented, the port would in principle be capable of handling up to 63 million tons of cargo per year, Gentvilas said.
In 2011, the port reloaded 36.6 million tons of cargo, up 16.9 percent from the figure of 31.3 million tons a year earlier. This year the port expects to handle 40.7 million tons of cargo.