• 2017 August 3

    Northward and westward

    According to Rosmorrechflot, annual cargo throughput of the North-Western Russian ports by 2020 may grow by 60 million tonnes. Of the volume, about 40 million tonnes is expected to be generated in the segment of dry bulk cargo. Additional volumes of freight will be received thanks to shifting of imports flows to Russian ports from the neighboring countries through the construction of new terminals.

    A glimpse into the future











    Russia continues the policy of ensuring handling of its own export trade flows through domestic port facilities. However, in the North-West, there is still a shortage of dedicated terminals for certain types of dry bulk cargoes (coal, mineral fertilizers). There are still no terminals for transshipment of LNG, which is becoming an increasingly important commodity on the international market and is a much-sought-after fuel for ships sailing in designated areas ECAs (the Baltic and North Seas).

    The roadmap for the development of seaports located in the Baltic Sea and Western Arctic until 2020 (with the possibility of extension until 2030), as well as the development of near-dock and off-dock road and rail connections, has been submitted to the Russian government and in should be approved soon by the Transport government commission.

    Among the promising projects for the development of port facilities in the North-West Rosmorrechflot named the project of EuroChem Group's terminal for mineral fertilizers in the Port of Ust-Luga. The facility will have a capacity of 7 million tonnes per year with investments valued at approx. RUB 12 billion. Another project is a universal handling complex at the Port of Primorsk with a capacity of 36 million tonnes annually The terminal will handle mineral fertilizers, scrap metal, grain. Investment in the project will reach some RUB 70 billion, including RUB 7 billion in federally owned facilities. Rosmorrechlfot has agreed on a Memorandum of Intent to implement the project. Yet another project is the construction of LNG terminals in the ports of Ust-Luga (the project is currently at the stage of predevelopment analysis) and Vysotsk (investment at amount of 14.5 billion rubles, at the stage of project development Phase 3. Construction of onshore facilities is underway). The project of LNG complex in the Kaliningrad region with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per year (total investments – RUB 28 bn). Also Russia will continue the expansion of existing terminals, among them container port Bronka, Big Port St. Petersburg.

    The capacity of the region's railway infrastructure in the direction to the ports is planned to be increased by 20 million tonnes per year. This is expected to be achieved through the overhaul of the Mga-Gatchina-Weimarn-Ivangorod section, boosting throughput capacity of the Volkhovstroy-Murmansk and Dmitrov-Sonkovo-Mga sections. The volume of freight traffic to the ports of the North-West basin by the 2016 year-end results totaled 126 million tonnes, and is projected to grow by 2020 to 147 million tonnes.

    The construction of coal terminals in the ports of Murmansk (the Lavna terminal) and Taman by 2025 will partially relieve the ports of the Baltic basin from export coal flows by more than 3 million tonnes per year (2020). The Ministry of Transport looks into some coal terminals projects in the Baltic basin. There is such an opportunity, for example, in the Port of Primorsk. It is possible to increase the capacity of the following coal terminals: Rosterminalugol, Ust-Luga Universal Reloading Complex (URC), Port Vysotsky and PJSC Murmansk Commercial Sea Port. However, the coal exports prefer the Far East, so further significant increase in handling capacity in the Northwest is less likely to happen.

    Besides, the Ministry of Transport points out that current coal transportation remains unprofitable for railway operators and the ministry is considering the possibility of changing the railway price list 10 01.

    Promising container terminals














    As to container terminals, IAA PortNews estimates show that the capacity surplus in the Northwest nears 3.7 million TEUs per year, and in the future it can grow to 7.8 million TEUs per year.

    The most promising container and Ro-Ro terminal in the region is the Multipurpose Sea Cargo Complex Bronka (MSCC Bronka) thanks to its favorable geographical location and convenient transport connections. However, at the moment Bronka has encountered with rail capacity shortage. By 2020, the rail transportation to the facility likely to grow to 3 million tonnes. The terminal investor and developer Fenix is ready to develop the design of a new rail line to bypass St. Petersburg along the territory of Leningrad Oblast to Bronka with capacity of more than 8 million tonnes of rail freight per year. ‎

    The company's plan was supported by the Minister of Transport of Russia Maxim Sokolov at the last meeting of the Coordinating Council for the Development of the Transport System of St. Petersburg.

    Other container terminals also have expansion plans. The most ambitious project was announced by Petrolesport (PLP, part of Global Ports Group), which means investment of RUB 4.1 billion in development. The project provides for modernization of old and construction of new technological yards to increase the capacity of the facility located on the islands Volny and Dam Grebenka in the Kirov district of St. Petersburg. The capacity of the terminal is projected to increase to 2-2.3 million TEUs per year and ensure handling of Ro-Ro cargo at least 700,000 tonnes per year. The project presented on April 17, 2017 at a meeting of the Investment Council under the Governor of St. Petersburg was given the status of a strategic one. The project phased completion: 2017 - 2025.

    However, in the current huge surplus of container capacities, not all announced project can be implemented

    Vitaly Chernov