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  • 2017 January 12

    Victor Vovk: we expect state financing of river infrastructure facilities to increase in 2017

    Despite the challenges of navigation in some basins of Russia’s inland water ways, the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot) fulfilled the tasks of 2016 and embarked on implementation of the most important infrastructure projects. Victor Vovk, deputy head of Rosmorrechflot, tells IAA PortNews about the results of the past navigation season, about handling of the low water problem and about the activities to prepare for the navigation season of 2017.

    — Transit navigation of 2016 is over. Mr Vovk, could you please cover its preliminary results?

    — The navigation was a success. According to preliminary data, inland water transport carried almost 115 mln t of cargo in the 11-month period.  Cargo turnover of inland water transport increased by nearly 6%.

    Passenger turnover grew by 11%. Over 13 mln passenger were carried In the reporting period, which is the same as in the previous year.

    In general, all the tasks set for 2016 were fulfilled.

    It should be noted that some of the basins (those of the Northern Dvina, Kama, Ob, Lena) saw law water level. Therefore, draft restrictions were introduced at 4,000 km of inland water ways. However, real-time interaction of Rosmorrechflot with the constituent entities of the Russian Federation, shipping companies and cargo owners allowed for mitigation of that negative factor. Today we discuss the plans of activities for 2017 to ensure maximum cargo supplies starting from the very beginning of the new navigation period with water level available today.

    Successful cooperation with the Federal Water Resources Agency let us establish an optimal water discharge regime at the Tsymlyansky water storage basin in order to preserve water resources without a negative impact on shipping. The efforts resulted in a better navigation conditions on the lower Don as compared with the previous navigation period. According to preliminary data, 930,000 t more were carried their over the past navigation.

    At the same time, we should unfortunately admit that despite more favorable shipping conditions at waterways near Nizhny Novgorod, cargo flow via Gorodets locks is decreasing. This year it lost 300,000 t making only 47% of 2013 traffic. To increase cargo flow via this bottleneck and to ensure  water depth of 4 meters along the entire deepwater system of Russia’s European part, low-head water development is planned at Nizhny Novgorod.

    Interviewed by Elena Tkacheva