Ventspils Northern Pier – The best engineering structure of the year in Latvia


On 24 August, laureates of the display Best Structure of the Year in Latvia were announced. In the nomination “Engineering Structure”, 1st place was awarded for the renovation of the Ventspils Northern Pier in Ventspils.

The display Best Structure of the Year in Latvia, organised by the Latvian Builders Association and Latvian Society of Civil Engineers in cooperation with 21 professional societies and sectoral institution took place for the 24th time this year. The jury evaluated more than 60 structures, infrastructure and landscape objects put into service last year.

The Northern Pier is one of the strategically most important hydro-structures in the Port of Ventspils. The pier is a structure a kilometre and a half long, which stretches from land into the sea and protects the port from waves, ice and sand drifts. Unlike the Southern Pier, the Northern Pier additionally performs also industrial functions, since it contains major communications for vessel cargo operations, and a sign of light – lighthouse – has been arranged at the end of the pier.

It should be noted that this is not the only recognition awarded to the Northern Pier – in March this year, Latvian Construction Annual Award took place, where, in the group “Rebuilding of an Engineering Structure”, jury awarded the 1st place to the Northern Pier among 12 structures.

Renovation works of the Northern Pier were performed by the JSC (AS) “BMGS” based on the order of the Freeport of Ventspils Authority. Construction supervisor within the project was Firma L4, but author’s supervisor – CHR Design Solutions. Total costs of the pier renovation project amounted to 12.3 million euro. The project was co-financed by the European Union Cohesion Fund.

Piers of the Port of Ventspils date back around 11th-12th century, but the current shape was made more than 100 years ago. The last renovation and rebuilding works were performed during the period from the 1970s until the 1990s, but the works completed in 2021 were the most extensive pier renovation works of all time. Besides, it should be mentioned that, with the support of the European Union Cohesion Fund, the Ventspils Southern Pier was also renovated; budget of the project reached 2.4 million euro, and the renovation works took place in 2018. At the moment, bank protection renovation works worth 1.6 million euro are in progress at the Port of Ventspils, and this is the closing hydro-structure in this European Union Cohesion Fund support programme.