10:36 14.03.2019

Mariupol port loses 33% of fleet due to construction of Kerch Bridge – Ministry of occupied areas

2 min read
Mariupol port loses 33% of fleet due to construction of Kerch Bridge – Ministry of occupied areas

The Mariupol port has lost 33% of its fleet and up to 140,000 tonnes of exported metal products a month due to construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait and the restrictions on passage of ship, which height exceeds 33 meters, imposed after its construction, according to a posting on the Facebook page of Ukraine's Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

"As a result of the construction of the Kerch Bridge, Russia restricted the height of vessels: from now on, vessels of Panamax type cannot pass through the canal. With the restrictions on the movement of vessels, the canal bottom is growing shallow and silting up," Minister for Temporarily Occupied Territories and IDP Vadym Chernysh said during his visit to Mariupol.

However, he said that, despite the blockade of the Kerch Strait by the Russian Federation, the Mariupol port continues operating and remains one of the strategically important enterprises of the city. The maximum capacity of the port allows transshipment of cargo up to 21 million tonnes per year, but after the aggression of the Russian Federation in the east of Ukraine, the port's capacity decreased almost 67%.

"In order to improve the situation in the ports of Mariupol and Berdiansk, several possibilities are now being discussed. One of them is the use of domestic financial resources that could remain in the ports. The EU additional funds are an equally important financial resource," the minister said.

He also said that if the type of freight changes, and when the grain terminal starts to work, the completion of which is expected this year, it is worth to organize the retraining of port workers.

"There is also a fundamental decision on the allocation of additional funds to finance infrastructure projects that will facilitate the work of the port. This will provide a logistics scheme that will involve several types of transport: railway, road and sea in order for the region to have raw materials for enterprises, and finished products are also shipped. Several coordinated decisions will be made with foreign partners," Chernysh added.

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