• 2019 May 30

    Port of Novorossiysk: Black Sea flagship

    For almost two centuries, the port of Novorossiysk has been a personification of national maritime industry’s power. On the day of 180th anniversary of Novorossiysk port’s Harbour Master Service, head of Black Sea Ports Administration Vladimir Yerygin answered the questions of IAA PortNews.

    - Mr Yerygin, on behalf of PortNews and on my own behalf I congratulate you, Harbour Master of Novorossiysk Yevgeny Tuzinkevich and the entire staff of Novorossiysk port’s Harbour Master Service and Black Sea Ports Administration on a notable event, 180th anniversary of Harbour Master Service at the port of Novorossiysk.

    - Thanks a lot for the congratulations. Russian shipping and its maritime industry have always been strong with its traditions and ability to accumulate and transmit professional experience from century to century.

    A famous saying of Mikhail Lomonosov comes to my mind: “People unaware of their past have no future”. Here, in Novorossiysk, we remember and hold in honour those who were among originators of the glorious port of Novorossiysk and its Harbour Master Service.

    Back in 1839, head of Black Sea coastline Lieutenant General N. Rayevsky addressed Black Sea Fleet and Ports Commander Vice Admiral M. Lazarev with a request to appoint a maritime head of Novorossiysk port so as to ensure order and control of port property management as well as registration of trade transactions and the state of naval berth.

    Vice Admiral M. Lazarev supported Lieutenant General N. Rayevsky and submitted a proposal on appointment of Novorossiysk Harbour Master to the Military Ministry of Saint-Petersburg. Having considered the proposal, the Ministry approved it and duke A. Menshikov, former head of the naval staff, informed M. Lazarev thereof.

    The report of Vice Admiral M. Lazarev dated 20 May 1839 informed duke A. Menshikov about appointment of Captain 2nd rank Yakimov as the first Novorossiysk Harbour Master.

    Notably, service instructions for Novorossiysk Harbour Master were written by Lieutenant General N. Rayevsky. They included the obligation of a Harbour Master to ensure safety of vessels placed offshore and in the port, supply of food and water to them, keeping of merchant shipping register and maintenance of the naval berth in a proper condition.

    Our country and our fleet have changed a lot over 180 years but one thing remains constant – the function of a Harbour Master, ensuring safe navigation and order in the seaport.

    - Mr Yerygin, I can’t help asking about these days and the plans for the development of infrastructure of Novorossiysk port and all Black Sea ports of Russia within your authority. 

    - The authority of Black Sea Ports Administration covers 11 ports on the Black Sea: Sochi, Tuapse, Gelendzhik, Novorossiysk, Anapa, Taman, Kerch, Feodosia, Yalta, Sevastopol and Yevpatoria.

    Geographic location of those ports at the crossing of global trade routes and several transport corridors determines the crucial role of port facilities in pursuance of tasks set by the state and businesses in respect of essential export/import cargo flows.

    As aforesaid, virtually all ports in the Black Sea region are undergoing development and port infrastructure modernization or have plans thereof confirmed by declarations of intent to invest in construction submitted to Rosmorrechflot (Federal Marine and River Transport Agency).

    In particular, the port of Novorossiysk is currently conducting a reconstruction of Berth No3 of Sheskharis oil terminal, capital repair of Berth No16 of NCSP PJSC, repair of rear junction of Berth No9 of NCSP PJSC. Construction of Beth No38 of Container Terminal NUTEP LLC has been completed.

    The plans for Novorossiysk seaport include:
    - construction of a sea terminal for transshipment of dry bulk cargo in containers and metal cargo with annual capacity of 3.2 million tonnes; 
    - reconstruction of the grain terminal of Novorossiysky Kombinat Khleboproduktov PJSC with the purpose of increasing design vessels’ dimensions;
    - reconstruction of the grain terminal of Novorossiysky Zernovoy Terminal LLC with the purpose to increase grain transshipment by 2.0 million tonnes per year;
    - reconstruction of KSK grain terminal with the purpose to increase its annual capacity from 2.5 million tonnes to 4 million tonnes;
    - reconstruction of the transshipment facility of Novorosleseksport JSC with the purpose to increase its throughput to 2.085 million tonnes per year;
    - reconstruction of the dry bulk cargo transshipment facility of NSRZ JSC with the purpose to increase its throughput to 10 million tonnes per year;
    - reconstruction of the container terminal of NCSP PJSC with the purpose to increase container handling to 300,000 ТЕUs per year;
    - reconstruction of the general cargo terminal of NCSP PJSC with the purpose to transship non-ferrous metal;
    - construction of an oil terminal Chernomorsky Perevalochny Kompleks LLC on the Panai cape with a design capacity of 11 million tonnes of oil products per year.

    The port of Taman located on the Taman peninsula is becoming one of the most significant southern logistic hubs owing to intense construction of port infrastructure facilities within its territory.

    Currently, OTEKO-Portservis LLC is building a dry bulk terminal with an annual capacity of 35 million tonnes. The terminal is supposed to handle sulfur, ores, coal and mineral fertilizers.

    In pursuance of RF Government Decree dated 7 September 2013, No1604, there is a plan to expand Taman seaport with plots of land in the Tuzla cape area as well as with land reclamation to accommodate a dry cargo district of 93.8 million tonnes in capacity.

    The plans for Taman seaport include:
    - construction of Berth No6Б, a new berth of Tuapse Bulk Terminal OJSC,  by 2022 in order to build up transshipment of mineral fertilizers by 2.5 million tonnes per year; 
    - reconstruction of Tuapse port’s water area by 2021 in order to increase throughput by 1 million tonnes. The works foresee  deepening for handling of ships with draft exceeding 12 meters at Berths NoNo 9, 10, 11 of TMTP JSC;
    - reconstruction (extension)by 2022 of the South-East (Pervomaysky) breakwater in order to ensure favorable conditions for safe mooring of tankers at Berths NoNo 1а, 1б of RN-Sea Terminal Tuapse LLC.

    It is impossible not to note the plans for the development of Crimea seaports implying the creation of new port facilities and land infrastructure facilities, considerable modernization of berths and production facilities of seaports, conduction of dredging works. Implementation of those plans will let improve technological capabilities of ports and make them more attractive in general.

    The abovementioned activities are reflected in the federal targeted programme “Social and economic development of the Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol till 2020” approved by RF Government Decree No790 dated 11 August 2014.

    It should be noted that intense development of port infrastructure brings in additional risks into activities of seaports. Port authorities in the name of Harbour Master Services should take them into account and be prepared for a prompt response within their competence.    

    - Among port infrastructure facilities subject to development you mentioned those for transshipment of containers at the port of Novorossiysk. Could you please elaborate on it?

    - The recent years have seen a global trend towards the growth of container transportation. The growth of foreign trade, especially imports have had a positive impact on container turnover dynamics at the ports of Russia.

    In this context, economic entities operating at the port are implementing projects on building up the capacity of container terminals.

    In particular, Container Terminal NUTEP LLC has completed the construction of Berth No38 at the port of Novorossiysk this year. This project implementation lets increase the terminal capacity from the current 350,000 TEUs to 700,000 TEUs.

    In April 2019, Berth No38 saw the delivery and assembling of new technological equipment: three STS cranes, four RTG cranes and two reachstackers.

    New STS cranes with a 18-meter track, 54-meter outreach and 40-meter height of lift are the largest ones on the Russian shore of the Baltic Sea. They are able to handle vessels of up to 10,000 TEUs. 

    - As far as we know, the number of calls and throughput of Novorossiysk port have been decreasing this year. What is the cause behind it?

    The seaport of Novorossiysk exports cargo to more than 100 countries worldwide. Key types of cargo are crude oil and oil products, grain, metal, coal, fertilizers, sawn timber and containerized cargo.

    This year has really seen the decrease of both the number of calls and the volume of cargo handled in Novorossiysk as compared with the same period of 2018. As of today, the number of ships having entered the port of Novorossiysk from the beginning of the year has decreased by 265 units, year-on-year, to 1,872 calls. Cargo transshipment at the port of Novorossiysk has totaled 57.4 million tonnes, 1.7 million tonnes less as compared with the same period of the previous year.

    That can be attributed to a number of factors including the demand and the market situation, reconstruction works and modernization of berths and cargo handling facilities, as well as challenging weather conditions at the port of Novorossiysk, of course, especially in autumn and winter. From the beginning of the year, the storm warning at the port and the adjacent sea area was valid for 48 days. Its duration in the same period of 2018 was only 35 days.   

    At the same time, we are optimistic about the future because, as I said earlier, organizations and companies declare their intentions to carry out construction and large-scale reconstruction of Novorossiysk seaport’s berths and terminals, which will increase the capacity of the port on transshipment of cargo.

    - What are the prospects for the development of cruise, passenger and ferry shipping in the Black Sea region of Russia?

    - This year, a regular cruise service on Sochi-Novorossiysk-Yalta route resumed when Knyaz Vladimir liner left Sochi on May 12. So far, it is the only cruise route in the Black Sea region of Russia.

    A passenger service between Sevastopol and Yalta was launched on 1 August 2018 with a new hydrofoil Kometa 120М. According to Marine High-Speed Passenger Transportation, the company operating the ships, line starts operation on May 25 and will last till September 31.

    This August, Marine High-Speed Passenger Transportation is going to put into operation two similar hydrofoils on Yalta-Sevastopol and Yalta-Feodosia routes. The construction of these ships is nearing completion at Vympel shipyard in Rybinsk.

    In the mid-term, there is a plan to expand the routes. Currently, stakeholders are considering the Anapa-Gelendzhik-Sochi, Novorossiysk-Sochi, Yalta-Feodosia-Anapa routes with a possible launching of a Sochi-Sukhum (Abkhazia) route.

    There is a plan to launch a passenger service between Sochi and Batumi (Georgia) by Kometa-type hydrofoil on 1 June 2019.

    As for ferry service, today it is only Tuapse that accepts Ro-Ro ships delivering fruit and vegetable products from the Turkish port of Samsun.

    The seaport of Sochi is working on the programme for launching of ferry services to link the ports of Sochi and Samsun (Turkey) for delivery of fruits and vegetables by Ro-Ro ships and to link Sochi and Trabzon (Turkey) for transportation of passengers and passenger cars by ferries.

    Sea ports of Novorossiysk, Kerch, Feodosia, Sevastopol and Yevpatoria have everything necessary to accept ferries.

    - Are there any innovative technologies being applied in the activities of Black Sea Ports Administration?
    - Present-day developments necessitate application of innovative approaches to achieve the targets and goals set for our company, which can be considered as one of the leaders in this area. The recent history of Baltic Sea Ports Administration confirms that.

    For example, in 2008 the Administration introduced Black Sea oil pollution monitoring programme to control unauthorized discharge of oil containing waters from ships. The programme based on Novorossiysk Harbour Master Service identifies vessels that are likely to be involved in pollution through aligning satellite images with ship traffic maps of the authorized system for automated identification of vessels. The programme of satellite monitoring of unauthorized discharge has lead to a strong disciplinary effect after investigation of some cases when ships caused pollution at the approaches to seaports of Novorossiysk, Tuapse and Taman with a following notification of ship owners and flag authorities as well as publications in media.

    Between 2005 and 2010, Novorossiysk Sea Port Administration (previous name of Black Sea Ports Administration) developed and introduced Russia’s first Comprehensive System for Monitoring of Novorossiysk Seaport Safety involving hi-tech equipment including thermal cameras and laser range finders. Its practical application confirmed high efficiency for detection of transport security hazards within the port’s water area. That equipment allows for early detection and response to violation of safe navigation, environmental safety, different incidents and emergency situations.

    In the future, this pilot project was used as a basis for the Comprehensive Programme Ensuring Transport Safety of the Population approved by RF Government Decree dated 30.07.2010 (No 1285-р) and defining the procedure for fitting seaports with modern engineering facilities providing transport security (EFTS).

    As of today, EFTS systems are installed in all seaports of Russia including the Crimea peninsula ports. 
    The policy of digitalization and IT support pursued by Black Sea Ports Administration should not go unmentioned. Harbour Master Services successfully apply software packages allowing for minimization of time needed to process and analyze data supplied to Harbour Masters, for facilitation of making vessel traffic schedules and layouts taking into account current situations, for keeping record of calls, applications for pilotage, cargo, etc.

    - Enhancement of ports’ sustainability is a recent trend worldwide. Does Black Sea Ports Administration undertake any measures in this respect?

    - In the context of goals and objectives defined by the current legislation and in view of the Environmental Strategy of the Russian Federation till 2025 approved by RF President by Decree No 176 dated 19.04.2017, Baltic Sea Ports Administration is currently performing the following activities in the field of ecological safety.

    Development and implementation of technical and organizational policy focused on prevention of environment pollution caused by activities of seaports subordinate to Black Sea Ports Administration.

    A system of measures on prevention of air pollution during transshipment of dry bulk and liquid bulk cargo in seaports, application of dust suppression techniques during dry bulk cargo transshipment as well as vapor return technologies during loading of tankers with oil products.  

    As I mentioned earlier, a regular monitoring of unauthorized discharge is performed involving space-based technologies for remote detection of sea pollution and vessels positioning techniques for identification of discharge sources as well as for responding to revealed incidents.

    Control of ships under the Black Sea Memorandum of Understanding on Port State Control including requirements of environment protection conventions.  

    Specialists of the Southern Scientific Center of Russian Academy of Sciences and the Southern Department of P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Sciences (IO RAS) have been involved when arranging an ecosystem monitoring of seaports’ water areas to control hydrobiological and chemical parameters as well as biodiversity in areas of ballast water discharge.

    Harbour Master Services control arrangements for operation of waste receiving facilities, cleaning of ports’ water areas from floating litter, control vessels sunk within the area of Harbour Master’s responsibility and arrange their removal.

    Systematic cooperation with executive authorities on the federal, regional and municipal levels in respect of issues on environmental safety of port activities.

    FSBE Black Sea Ports Administration took part in activities of the expert group of the Commission of the Convention on the Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution (The Bucharest Convention). The company was awarded with the Black Sea Commission’s Medal for and Outstanding Contribution to Protection of the Black Sea Against Pollution.  

    As an example, I would also like to highlight the innovative approach of the company to enhancement of environmental safety of seaports’ activities. At the port of Novorossiysk, a major port concentrating most of risks, Harbour Master Service of Novorossiysk introduced a “Concept for a system management of environmental safety at the port of Novorossiysk” establishing a conceptual approach to ensuring environmental safety and sustainable development of the port complex.

    That concept reflects the existing mechanisms for application of tools of functional and process-based management of environmental safety of the port complex risk pool, relations of port activities stakeholders to ensure standard level of transport process protection as well as mechanisms for ensuring workability of emergency response subsystem elements.

    Over the recent decade, with the introduction of the system management of environmental safety, the statistics of oil spills in the port of Novorossiysk have been kept at the level of rare and insignificant incidents. 

    - The country has recently celebrated the five-year anniversary of a historical reunification of Crimea and Russia. From spring 2014, seaports of Kerch, Feodosia, Yalta, Sevastopol and Yevpatoria have been within the area of responsibility of Baltic Sea Ports Administration. What are their development prospects, in your opinion?

    - It should be noted, that the potential of Crimean ports is quite high. Due to external factors, they cannot be fully loaded today but we are optimistic about their future development.

    Today, we can observe an active and dynamic development of passenger transportation in Crimean ports. The Republic of Crimea has serious plans for the development of yachting infrastructure in seaports.

    The commissioning of the Crimea Bridge’s railway section in the end of 2019 is to ensure additional load of the ports of Crimea with transit cargo as they have a high capacity for handling export/import cargo.

    The issues of recovering the load of ports on the Crimea peninsula are currently under intense discussion on the regional and federal levels. That fills us with confidence that in the mid-run Crimean ports will be able to attract cargo flows sufficient for their stable loading correlating with the available port facilities.

    Interviewed by Elena Snitko