SWIM - SMART Waterway Integrated Management

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SWIM - SMART Waterway Integrated Management

Posted by Viktoria Weissenburger, Tuesday, 8th August 2017 @ 10:28 am

Basic  project  data 

Project ID: PA1A115

Need  and  added  value  for  the  Danube  Region  Strategy

The Danube river is the main waterway artery of Central and South-Eastern Europe and could function as key axis for logistics, supporting regional development and economic growth in ten riparian countries. It also connects the markets of Central & Western Europe with the Black Sea region, via Constanta Port and the maritime seaports on the Danube. Several key industries of the region strongly depend on the Danube waterway for competitive logistics which is a pre-condition for safeguarding jobs in the region. Over the last two decades, the reliability and cost-effectiveness of Danube transportation deteriorated tremendously which lead to a significant reduction of the transport volumes, reaching less than 40 million tons per year.

The deterioration of the fairway situation resulted in blockages of several days and even weeks of the fairway in the years 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2015, causing millions of Euros losses for the navigation sector and their customers. Major industries like steel, agriculture, construction, chemical, etc. suffered from increases in logistics costs as well as from the interruption of supply chains, which reduced their economic performances as well as their perspectives.

The severest restrictions to navigation occurred on the Lower Danube, in the common Romanian – Bulgarian Danube sector. Three locations are especially critical: Calafat, Bechet and Corabia. Capital dredging measures are planned for each of these sections. The project is closely interlinked with FAST Danube and FAIRway Danube. Only after the approval of the environmental impact assessment done within FAST Danube works planned within SWIM may start.

The project is an important step towards the removal of bottlenecks along the Danube and the transnational cooperation between both Waterway Administrations – River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati - AFDJ and Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River – IAPPD.


General objective:

The proposed project SWIM aims at removing three critical bottlenecks and strengthening the cooperation between AFDJ and IAPPD as a preparatory step for future joint measures on the Lower Danube.

Specific objectives:

  • Elaboration of the measures, based on the necessary actions for fairway rehabilitation and ports access;
  • Identify the technical resources for measures implementation and improving the safety of navigation;
  • Development of an integrated concept for measures implementation;
  • Procurement of the technical equipments for fairway rehabilitation;
  • Remove the bottlenecks and open a new and sustainable fairway trajectory;
  • Improve the port access;
  • Increase the safety of navigation in the bridge areas;
  • Test an innovative solution for safety of navigation;
  • Proposal for enhanced procedure framework used for fairway rehabilitation actions.

The project is in close cooperation with the CEF Actions “FAIRway Danube” and “FAST Danube”. Both waterway Administrations – River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati AFDJ Galati and Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River IAPPD – are partners in both CEF Actions.                                                                   

Planned  project  activities

The project is structured into six activities, as follow:

Activity 1: Project Management and dissemination

  • SuAc. 1.1: Project Management
  • SuAc. 1.2: Project Dissemination

Activity 2: Integrated Concept to ensure a good Navigation status

  • SuAc. 2.1: Data analyses and establishment of a priority list of measures to ensure good navigation status
  • SuAc. 2.2: Development of integrated concept to ensure good navigation status

Activity 3: SWIM – SMART IT Platform

  • SuAc. 3.1: Public procurement for the design and deployment of the IT platform;
  • SuAc. 3.2: Design and development of the IT platform
  • SuAc. 3.3: Deployment of the IT platform

Activity 4: Procurement and delivery of technical equipment to carry out capital dredging works and enhanced safety of navigation

  • SuAc.  4.1: Procurement of vessels and equipment to carry out capital dredging works and enhance the safety of navigation

Activity 5: Pilot capital dredging measures for improved navigation status

  • SuAc. 5.1: Pilot project implementation
  • SuAc. 5.2: Assessment of the the effectiveness of the pilot measures

Activity 6: Evaluation and recommendations

  • SuAc. 6.1: Evaluation of the pilot measures
  • SuAc. 6.2: Joint framework of cooperation between Romania and Bulgaria

Transboundary  impact

The proposed project will have a positive impact for shipping companies and their industrial clients (transport users) by ensuring cost-effective and safe water depths at a guaranteed minimum standard. Major industries of the region will benefit from more reliable and less costly waterborne logistics chains. The improvements of the fairway will also have indirect and induced positive economic effects arising e.g. from increased economic activities in the Danube inland and seaports, including the Port of Constanta.

The project will strengthen the cooperation between Romanian and Bulgarian waterway administration by an increased innovative approach and technical capacity on fairway rehabilitation.

The project can be considered as a necessary preparatory step to the future works of river engineering on the common Romanian – Bulgarian Danube sector.

In addition, the project will:

  • Ensure and sustain economic and social development of regions located in the Danube River basin, in compliance with environmental protection requirements
  • Stimulate cargo flows in the region thus improving the economic development of the area
  • Stimulate the development of a sustainable transport system in the area in order to ensure inter-modality (railway transport, road transport, maritime and inland waterway transport)
  • Significantly contribute to the objective of the EUSDR to increase cargo transport on the Danube by 20% until the year

Project  beneficiaries  /  target  groups

Beneficiary: River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati (AFDJ Galati) and Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River (IAPPD), Ministry of Transport from Romania, and local authorities, port administration.

Direct target groups: actors in charge with the development of inland waterways and ports, decision-makers on political and administrational level, national and regional authorities (waterways and ports authorities).

Indirect target groups: actors that will benefit from and contribute to the operation and services of Danube fairway such as: river & maritime ports and logistical centres, freight forwarders, shippers, shipping companies, terminal operators, chambers of commerce, logistics associations, railway associations, operators of combined transport, and many other stakeholders from manufacturing sector as well as cargo trading businesses.

status  and  timeframe

Start date: 01.07.2016
End date: 31.12.2020


The Feasibility Study for the technical design and the economic assessment of the technical vessels necessary for AFDJ was finalized in December 2015.

The project is closely linked with the project “FAST Danube”, financed from CEF, which will provide technical solution and environmental assessment for fairway rehabilitation actions and “FAIRway Danube”, as a coordination platform of the Danube region waterway administrations for the implementation of the Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan of the Danube and its Tributaries (FRMMP).


Total budget: 12,222,200 EUR
EU funds: 10,388,870 EUR are funded by Connecting Europe Facility (CEF) 2014 - 2020
National funds: 1,833,330 EUR

Project  team

Project leader: River Administration of the Lower Danube Galati / Romania
(website: www.afdj.ro)
Address: Portului Street, no. 32, Galati / Romania

Project partner: Executive Agency for Exploration and Maintenance of the Danube River (IAPPD) / Bulgaria

Project  environment

Project  Cross - Reference

  • Network of Danube Waterway Administrations – NEWADA
  • Network of Danube Waterway Administrations - data and user orientation – NEWADA Duo
  • TENT-T/CEF project: “FAST Danube” – Technical Assistance for improving the navigation conditions on the Romanian-Bulgarian common Danube sector and complementary studies (PA1A027)
  • CEF project “FAIRway Danube” – Coordination and implementation project of the FRRMP / EUSDR PA1A (PA1A108)
  • IRIS Europe 3

Strategic  reference

  • NAIADES II Policy Package: “Towards quality inland waterway transport”: Seeks to create the conditions for inland navigation transport to become a quality mode of transport
  • The EU Strategy for the Danube Region
  • Europe 2020 – Europe’s growth strategy
  • Communication from the Commission Freight Transport Logistics Plan (SEC 2007 / 1320; SEC 2007/1321)
  • The Romanian Strategy for Sustainable Transport 2007-2013 and 2020, 2030: Contains a special chapter dedicated to maritime and inland water way transport
  • Masterplan for Transport of Romania
  • Fairway Rehabilitation and Maintenance Master Plan of the Danube and its Tributaries (FRMMP) / EUSDR PA1A

Relevant  legislation

  • Council Regulation (EC) No. 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund and the Cohesion Fund and repealing Regulation (EC) No. 1260/1999
  • Regulation (EC)No.1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 July 2006 on the European Regional Development Fund and repealing Regulation(EC)No.1783/1999
  • Commission Regulation (EC) No. 1828/2006 of 8 December 2006 setting out rules for the implementation of Council Regulation (EC) No.1083/2006 laying down general provision on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and Cohesion Fund and of Regulation(EC) Nr.1080/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the European Regional Development Fund
  • Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the Community action in the field of water policy
  • Law no. 107/25 September 1996 – the Water Law
  • Convention for the Protection of the Danube signed on June 29, 1994 in Sofia, Bulgaria (entered into force in October 1998)
  • EU Regulation 1315/2013 (TEN-T regulation) and in relation to the EU Regulation 1316/2013 – Connecting Europe Facility (CEF)
  • The Recommendations of the Danube Commission regarding fairway parameters
  • The Danube Navigation Regulations
  • UNECE Agreement on AGN

Eusdr  embedding

eusdr  compliance


Meta  data

Data provided by: Romeo Soare (AFDJ Galati) - 02.02.2016
Last update by: Romeo Soare (AFDJ Galati) - 29.11.2016

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