Caspian Energy: Sergey Vladimirovich, Ilyichevsk port is called “sea gate of Ukraine”, what are the technical capacities of the port and potential of development? What are its transit capacities?
Sergey Krijanovski, Director of “Ilyichevsk Sea Trade Port” state enterprise: At present the port mainly has everything that it has inherited from previous generations which erected it. It was built during the Soviet Union for the USSR’s fleet and has a projected capacity of 30 mln tonnes which it has never reached.
However, there once was a year when the carrying capacity reached up to 20 mln tonnes. Since then no such indicators have ever been reached in the history of the port. It has a very well developed railway infrastructure: two railway stations, underutilized capacities for railway car handling.
Railway transportation was mainly used in the USSR at the time of construction of the port. Now the port has a whole amount of short-comings when handling motor transport: there are only two entries into the left shore and two automobile entries into the ferry complex. It does not let ensure a passage of required amount of vehicles if the port is going to reach the project parameters.
There should be other ways of entry into the port in order to deliver and ship 30 mln tonnes of cargo.
After split of the port into two enterprises, communications that ensure the entry into the port are under responsibility of the Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine (ASPU) while we, state enterprise IlyichevskCommercialSea Port(ICSP), are operating only transshipment facilities. These are storage terminals and auxiliary facilities ensuring loading-unloading operations. The main task of the port is to supply terminals with modern equipment, attract investors for participation in these projects. We are trying to make the port universal in terms of cargoes. The port is already handling both high-technology cargoes, bulk cargoes, mixed cargoes and vehicles. We are trying to be flexible in the market and lend sought-after services. The port is in need of reconstruction of its water area, berths, which falls within the competence of the ASPU. As I said earlier, the port was constructed in the times when the maximum draft of vessels totaled 13m while modern vessels of the trade fleet now have a 14, 16, 18m draft.
The port has excellent storage capacities and a potential for development. We show it to potential investors and partners. We are actively working with them and showing them a freight nomenclature of terminals which can be used additionally. We try to use maximum capacities of berths. But I think that cooperation with investors, who are also owners of cargoes, will help us to create such conditions which would make the port’s operation more efficient. It means that the port will manage to successfully implement a reform envisaged by the law of Ukraine “On ports” as well as government’s requirements on attraction of investments and cooperation with international companies.
CE: Considering close location of three big ports such as Odessa, Ilyichevsk and Yujniy, to what extent is the Ilyichevsk port is competitive?
Sergey Krijanovski: Ilyichevsk port has always been a unique enterprise in spite of the fact that there are 4 such competing ports. Odessa, Ilyichevsk, Yuzhniy and Mariopol were the ports which in due time transshipped 16-20 tonnes. Owing to the oil transshipment, Odessa’s capacity totaled 34 mln tonnes. Ilyichevsk port is unique in terms of positive opportunities because it has a comfortable water area for development. An industrial zone, bordering with the port, has been strongly developed here: enterprises providing additional loading of the port, processing different raw materials and servicing the port and shipping companies have been established within this zone. Ilyichevsk port is an opportunity to build new enterprises at released areas which used to be storages that are morally and physically out of date.
It is an access to those communications, which are connected with roads, with our western passages; first of all it is the possibility of using of the port’s area that neither Odessa, Yuzhniy nor Mariopol has. The port has an area comprising about 220 ha which arouses interest of investors to come to the port and build production capacities. Transshipment of grain cargo, butter, protein meals and other products is developing very actively. An issue of construction of facilities for processing of wood is under active discussion. It requires huge investments and use of an area. The capacities of the railroad are also of big importance.
CE: How would you assess the prospects of participation of the port in the Great Silk Road project?
Sergey Krijanovski: We hope that the Great Silk Road will run through Ilyichevsk because only Ilyichevsk has kept a railway ferry complex which is in big demand. It is an opportunity of working with the ports of Georgia, Turkey, Bulgaria and other countries. As I have already mentioned, only half of the potential of the port is used now. Technical capacities are already available. Concrete steps have been recently taken in work with investors. Preparatory work is underway in accordance with the procedure of leasing terminals. It is not only a procedure, envisaged by the Fund of State Property. It is also a necessity of observing a right procedure during the shift of people from one enterprise into another one. It is cooperation with labor unions, guarantee of high level social package, medical insurance, etc.
CE: Expansion of the Panamanian channel in the first half of 2016 will help to double transshipment of cargoes and considerably shorten the route of oceanic vessels from the Pacific Ocean into the Atlantic basin. Sergey Vladimirovich, what opportunities do you see, considering such revival of the transport market?
Sergey Krijanovski: All raw materials are transported in accordance with the annual contract.
A charter of a vessel will only depend on capacities of the Panamanian channel. It is a global market which changes faster than the channels are built. The channel will make freight cheaper. It can make an end product cheaper. After all, the market of metal depends on many other issues. It is said that the price for capasize ships will have been increased by the end of the year. Now it has reached the minimum level. Therefore, the capasize can afford additional service costs in the port. When the freight starts growing, every minute of vessel handling will be valued. Our present loading rates withstand criticism, but we know that in due course our working speed will have to meet the requirements of the ship owners.
The entry into the Yuzhniy port for capasize vessels is expensive. The work beyond a 12 mile zone is also expensive. It is a border crossing operation. We took all these short-comings into account. This is the reason why we offered to conduct loading of capasize type vessels in two stages: the first stage includes works at the berth with a 14m draft vessels and further additional loading in the harbor. This project, which has already been approved, is a joint development of a ship owner, logistical department and the port, carried out with a participation of the ASPU.
CE: Is it planned to build a regasification terminal for reception of the liquefied gas, just like the way Lithuania and Poland did it. Are there new projects in Turkey, Croatia and Greece?
Sergey Krijanovski: It can affect the entire economy of the country. Liquefied gas is handled at the capacities of the Fish port. It is poured from a railway tank car into a vessel. This system existed and it is still being used. We had only pre-project ideas to launch something new as an import, for instance, like in Azerbaijan which has its own terminals. Nevertheless, Ilyichevsk port has a sufficient industrial zone. We have 226 ha of land for development. 100 ha of them are not used at all. All sanitary regulations can be observed for construction of such facility. But there have not been concrete proposals.
CE: Which innovations and novelties are planned to be introduced in the port in new future?
Sergey Krijanovski: The financial plan has a sum which is supposed to be applied this year. At the meeting with ASPU we were offered to consider the sequence of reconstruction of berths - #1, 2 and #8. The depth at berths 1 and 2 will be about 15m. The same depth is expected at the berth #8 but this issue is still unsolved.
The first birth has been reconstructed since 2016 without stopping its operation. The operation of the second berth was stopped. It is planned to have it expanded into the sea by 1m or over. The 8th berth will undergo a full reconstruction. It is out of operation now. It can happen in 2017 if all procedures of approval are agreed. These operations will start late in 2016.
CE: Is it planned to build and reconstruct a bridge across the Dry Liman?
Sergey Krijanovski: Pontoon Bridge is a property of ASPU. Their funds are spent on its maintenance. This pontoon goes through all procedures of approval as it is a register and floating facility. The pontoon is designed for crossing of vehicles. Taking into account high traffic load here, it is getting exhausted very quickly. The port planned to allocate 10 mln UAH for its reconstruction in 2016. We hope that all (ASPU and local bodies of power) will support our financial initiative. We understand our responsibility before the city of Chernomorsk.
Interview made by Shamil Novruzov and Emil Mammadov