By Marek Grzybowski
In 2022, the “Szkuner”, managing the port of Władysławowo, achieved the best financial result in 30 years. For the port in Władysławowo, it is a time of intense changes. The port appeared in the INCONE60 – Inland Blue Transport Connector E60 project, reminding that it is located on the European short sea shipping route.
After the pandemic, tourists became interested in Władysławowo again. And most importantly, companies that conduct research for offshore wind farms are already operating in Władysławowo. The lease of land by Ocean Winds is actually a turning point on the map of services offered by the port to fishermen, tourists, rescue services and the Polish Border Guard. There is also a shipyard and a fish processing plant.
Witold Wawrzonkoski, President of the Management Board of “Szkuner” – the company that manages the port of Władysławowo, talks to Marek Grzybowski, coordinator of the Baltic Maritime Publicists Club.
Marek Grzybowski: How did the activity of entities operating under the management of “Szkuner” translate into economic results?
President Witold Wawrzonkoski: The beginning of 2022 was very difficult. The war in Ukraine surprised us all, and even more so what happened in its aftermath. The uncontrolled increase in the prices of fuels, steel, production materials, as well as the disruption of their supplies had a negative impact on virtually all areas of Szkuner’s operations. However, we quickly recovered from the shock and took countermeasures. This, together with the completion of previously planned and started investments, allowed us to end last year very positively and achieve the best financial result (excluding the sale of assets) for at least 30 years. At this point, I must warmly commend and thank my management team and the staff for this success. Without their efforts and efforts, this would not have been possible.
Marek Grzybowski: The port has separate quays for the marina and cruise ships, SAR, cutters and fishing boats, as well as an unloading quay. How have these areas of activity worked out?
President Witold Wawrzonkoski: The most stable segment of the Port’s users is, contrary to common opinions about the gradual liquidation of fishing, the segment of fishing boats and cutters. Against this background, the situation is much worse with fishing vessels, which have basically been out of work for three years and are gradually crumbling while waiting for scrapping. Last year was also not favorable in terms of the number of yachts and cruise ship passengers using the Port of Władysławowo. Undoubtedly, this was influenced by the war in Ukraine and, above all, very high inflation.
Marek Grzybowski: “Szkuner” is the owner of five B-280 and B-410 fishing boats and a base for private fishing boats. Fishing in the Baltic Sea is subject to constant restrictions. Did the fishery in 2022 still have anything to catch, and the plants had raw material for production?
President Witold Wawrzonkoski: It is true that in recent years there has been a significant decrease in catch limits available to Polish shipowners, not to mention the ban on cod fishing. On the other hand, there was an increase in the prices of caught fish, so long awaited by fishermen, first herring and then sprat. As a result, last year was not a failure. This applies primarily to large and medium-sized cutters. In these segments, shipowners who really want to fish, invest and modernize their vessels should be able to cope in the coming years. This does not mean that the situation in processing is equally good. Here, however, the decreasing limits are decisive. While in the case of sprat it is possible to ensure the supply of this fish in consumption quality at an appropriate level, it looks much worse in the case of herring, not to mention cod.
Marek Grzybowski: Within a few years, offshore wind farms will develop near Władysławowo. The Szkuner company, which manages the Port of Władysławowo, has signed an agreement with Ocean Winds. Under the agreement, a service base for the BC-Wind wind farm is being built in the port. PGE Baltica is already using Władysławowo as a base for research in the area of the Baltica 1 farm. What potential does Szkuner offer to wind farm operators and their subcontractors?
President Witold Wawrzonkoski: The port in Władysławowo is very well located in the context of wind farms, it provides convenient, perhaps even the best conditions on the open sea in terms of safety and stability of the approach to the Port. This makes our Port regularly used even by companies that have announced that their service bases will be elsewhere. Of course, our greatest success is the cooperation with Ocean Winds, which will build its service base in Władysławowo, perhaps next year. However, I would like to strongly emphasize that apart from the Ocean Winds base, there is room for further offshore service bases in the Port of Władysławowo. We have quays and an investment area that can be used by subsequent operators or service companies. This is very important in the context of the soon-to-be decisions regarding new concessions for the construction of wind farms. We look forward to these decisions. Companies that will obtain new concessions, especially in eastern locations, will not find a better place for their service bases than Władysławowo Port.