About UAH 6 bln revenue shortfall for Ukrainian ports in Azov Sea region since 2014
Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea region have fallen short of about half of their freight turnover since 2014, while the number of ship visits has also halved, head of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) Raivis Veckagans said.
"In the period of Russian aggression, Azov ports have lost almost half of their cargo, while the number of ship visits has more than halved. According to our calculations, these ports have sustained about a UAH 6 billion shortfall in revenue since 2014. That's without taking into account losses and extra spending of exporters related to delays and redirecting of cargo flow," Veckagans told Interfax-Ukraine.
Ukrainian ports in the Azov Sea require comprehensive support at state and international levels, he said. "The blockade was lifted from the Mariupol and Berdiansk ports precisely owing to uniting efforts in 2018," he said.
"Now we're trying to improve the situation at the Azov ports as substantially as possible and help them remain competitive. USPA's investment in the Mariupol and Berdiansk ports will top UAH 1 billion in 2018-2020. The first vessel of a subcontractor's dredging fleet, which will take efforts to maintain nominal depths in our ports in the Azov Sea, called at Mariupol in early July. We'll complete reconstruction of Berth No. 4 at the Mariupol port by the year's end. This project is being carried out simultaneously with the building of a new grain terminal by the state stevedoring company. The commissioning of these facilities will allow for diversification of the range of cargo hauled through the port and providing new opportunities for business in this region," Veckagans said.
Kyiv said the Mariupol port has lost 33% of its fleet following Russia's construction of the Kerch Bridge.
According to the USPA, the Azov ports could increase cargo shipments by 800,000 tonnes per year with unhampered passage of ships through the Kerch Strait.