The Polish Ministry of Finance has agreed to an investment of 820 million euros for the development of the Malaszewicze transhipment area. Because of this shipment, the Polish border facility capacity will get doubled.
That said, the investment amount is not going to cover the overall modernization project across Malaszewicze. That’s because the costs have increased, as per Jakub Kapturzak, who happens to be the deputy director of Trail at the Ministry of Infrastructure. He further said that when this project got approved, the cost that was estimated was 800 million euros; however, it has gone up to a billion euros due to high electricity and labour costs.
Kapturzak added that, at this point in time, it isn’t certain how the remaining 200 million euros are going to be raised. It may happen that the parliament okays the additional funding, but it could also be that these costs will ultimately have to be borne by Malaszewicze Port. In such a scenario, PKP and PLK might as well want to discuss if the cost could be shared between terminals.
The modernization of Malaszewicze is a project that has been on the cards for quite some time and for which funding from the EU was very likely. However, in a turn of events, the European Union decided to halt the financing shortly after the Ukraine war began. This decision happened to be in line with the policy of the EU targeting connectivity with Ukraine, which included the country being a part of the TEN-T project. Because of this uncertainty, the project went on hold.
It is well to be noted that the modernization of the Malaszewicze area is indeed required, as the current capacity isn’t sufficient to meet the surging demand. Apparently, the area that is near the border with Belarus is regarded as a bottleneck when it comes to rail freight on the New Silk Road, with trains most often than not getting delayed. This bottleneck can be kept in check with the construction of longer and newer tracks as well as an upgraded infrastructure.