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Poland: Agreement Reached On World Bank Loan For Ports

Warsaw, 10 September 1996 (RFE/RL) - Poland signed a loan agreement with the World Bank yesterday for about $67 million to finance half the costs of a major upgrading and modernization of Poland's three major shipping ports.

More than 55 percent of Poland's foreign trade goes through the ports of Gdynia, Gdanks and Szczecin-Swinoujscie, said the bank. That could rise to 65 percent within ten years if facilities are modernized and highway access is improved.

"In order to remain competitive, ports will have to further reduce costs, improve efficiency and adjust their facilities to cope with new traffice patterns," said World Bank Warsaw resident representative Paul Knotter.

The loan will cover construction of the Martwa Wisla access bridge to the Gdansk North Port, the building of new Regalica and Parnica bridges for access to the Szczecin central port, improvement of the road connection between Swinoujscie and Szczecin through Wolin, a start on protection of the Wisla Smiala outlet in Gdansk, and implemention of the first phase of modernization of the Szczecin-Swinoujscie fairway through a vessel traffic management system.

The loan was approved August 5.