Mongolia as a maritime power
Basing on its cooperation with the Republic of Korea, China and Russia, Mongolia is entering the shipping market of the Asia Pacific Region both as an exporter and a carrier. Mr Tuvshintur Saranjav, Head of Mongolian Maritime Administration, Ministry of Road and Transport Development of Mongolia, tells IAA PortNews about this cooperation and near-term plans.
— Recent years have seen Mongolia making itself known as a new maritime nation. What is the concept of its sea transport development and the key focus?
—Mongolia located far from the see between the borders of Russia and China has no other alternative – its foreign trade is only possible via the territory of those neighboring countries. In this context our country takes part in an international transport system with a goal to export its products to the markets of the third states by sea routes, first by railway and then via the seaports of China and Russia. Mongolia has already developed legal framework for entering the sea via the territories of the neighboring states, held negotiations on free access to seaports, joined some multilateral agreements and signed intergovernmental agreements. Thus, we have obtained an access to the northern and north-eastern ports of China open for foreign trade.
— What are the key partners of Mongolia in this segment?
— Apart from friendly relationship with Russia and China, Mongolia is in cooperation with South Korea and Italy in the segment of maritime transport development.
— How much cargo can Mongolia dispatch by maritime transport? What are the destination markets?
— Mongolia has rich mining resources including enormous coal resources and we face the necessity of delivering it to the markets of the third countries via the ports of the neighboring states.
Taking this into consideration we have studied the possibilities of maritime shipping of Mongolia’s mining products to the markets of the third countries via the territory of Russia and China.
To ensure guaranteed volumes of coal exports at competitive prices we have established a joint venture with S.Korea - Mongol Sammok Logistics. We expect the company’s vessels to carry up to 60,000 tonnes of dry bulk cargo per voyage.
The company established in Seoul in 2015 is headquartered in Busan. Its fleet numbers five ships: JUPITER ACE (2009, DW 32,500 MT), BK ALICE and SM AURORA (2012, 82,000), ULTRA ALPHA and ULTRA OMEGA (2015, 63,500).
— Could you, please tell about the project in cargo transportation via Russia’s Vostochny port. As it is known, an agreement on coal transit from Mongolia via Vostochny port was signed in 2017 at the 3rd Eastern Economic Forum attended by the delegation of Mongolia headed by Khaltmaagiyn Battulga, the President of the country.
— We have completed the economic calculations for different variants of delivery. We expect annual coal transportation as high as 2 million tonnes. Yet, the issue of unloading and storage of coal in Vostochny has not been finally decided.
When we solve the issues of transit transportation and perform pilot transportation of cargo across Russia we will start step-by-step implementation of infrastructure development.
In 2017, Mongolia exported 33.4 tonnes of coal. According to our calculations, some 10% of coal can be exported to the third countries by seaborne transport.
We are going to export coal to Japan, S.Korea, India and other countries.
Interviewed by Yevgeny Pankratyev.