Closing the infrastructure gap between the demands of modern society and the current capabilities are the main criteria of prosperity considered by key policy stakeholders in Poland. Investments in various types of infrastructure maintain the key role in convergence of Polish economy since the EU accession.
For years 2014 2020 Poland will receive EUR 77.6 billion from EU structural funds, of which 27.4 billion will be spent through national Operational Program Infrastructure & Environment. This facility will support most important national level investments, such as construction of motorways and expressways, railways, public transport, seaports, waterways, as well as substantial investment in waste and water management systems or energy efficiency. Major proportion of EU funds (more than 50%) will be managed at regional level, through Regional Operational Programs. Although their impact is visible at the local level, the aggregated amount of regional funds is as significant as those managed nationally.
Investments in road and rail infrastructure encompass the bulk of Polish government priorities in transportation and other public services. The worth of planned road infrastructure projects to be performed until 2023 amounts to EUR 35.7 billion, while rail infrastructure projects to be implemented in the same time period are worth EUR 15.2 billion.
Currently there are about 19 thousand km of railways in Poland. Over 90% of them belong to national infrastructure manager PKP PLK S.A. According to National Rail Program for 2015 2023 timeframe, rail investment projects will be financed mainly from European Union Cohesion Fund (EUR 7.1 billion) and Connecting Europe Facility (EUR 4.2 billion), supplemented by European Regional Development Fund (EUR 1.6 billion) and governmental funds (PLN 2.3 billion).
The main goal of investments is establishment of modern and consistent railway transport system. Particularly, investments aim at increasing transport effectiveness, security and quality. Program encompasses implementing European Rail Traffic Management System, which will increase the capacity of international rail operations and increase the speed on selected lines to over 160 km/h. Around 8,500 km of railways will receive funding for various investments until 2023.
Currently, there are 19,000 km of national roads, including motorways and expressways. In the last 10 years length of expressways and motorways increased 3 times. Nevertheless, main disadvantages of national road network are lack of consistency, inability to carry load of 11.5 tons per axle on many road stretches and high traffic volumes going through built-up areas.
The sum devoted for road projects contains up to EUR 22.3 billion designated for the construction of motorways and expressways and EUR 2.2 billion for the construction of ring roads. Poland is obliged to complete construction of core TEN-T network, consisting of 3 890 km of roads, till the end of year 2030. 7 400 km long, core and comprehensive network, is supposed to be finished by 2050.
Warsaw Chopin Airport is the main Polish international hub, supported by 14 regional airports which provide fine national and international connections. All airports received substantial public and EU support (including Greenfield projects) in years 2007 2013. In general, all facilities have modern land- and airside facilities and provide appropriate capacity. Further investments shall be implemented basing on business case feasibility, except for improvement of airport security systems which will receive public support.
Maritime and inland waterways infrastructure Gdańsk and Gdynia are the main container hub in the Baltic Sea region with direct calls from Asia, whereas Szczecin and Świnoujście host new LNG terminal. Polish government has also planned to spend EUR 2.1 billion for development of inland waterways up to 2020. Seaports will receive public support for infrastructure projects amounting to EUR 2.7 billion. In particular, hinterland accessibility of seaports will be improved. These will be supplemented by private investments of terminal operators.