The Transport Minister of Russia believes that the future of the sea port of St. Petersburg belongs to such enterprises and the Baltic Bulker Terminal

26.01.2004
On January 23, a meeting on the reconstruction of the main channel of the sea port of St. Petersburg was held on the territory of the Baltic Bulker Terminal (BBT) in the sea port of St. Petersburg. The meeting was attended by Sergei Frank, Transport Minister of Russia, Valentina Matvienko, Governor of St. Petersburg, top officials of the Rosmorport State Enterprise, Uralkali, the BBT, the Ministry of Defense and the sea port of St. Petersburg.

The meeting discussed the plans to deepen St. Petersburg's ship channel to 13 meters. This will allow the port to handle larger ships and, therefore, will improve the economics of the port as a whole and of separate loading companies operating on its territory, such as the BBT. A decision was taken to launch the bottom deepening work to be financed in equal parts by OAO Uralkali, ZAO Petersburg Oil Terminal and the Rosmorport State Unitary Enterprise.

From 2001 to 2003, the quantity of potassium fertilizers shipped via the BBT, the main transshipment terminal of Uralkali, increased from 1 million to 2.6 million tons. In 2004, this figure will rise to 3.5 million tons That is why Uralkali is so keen that the ship channel of the port of St. Petersburg should be deepened. Commenting on the results of the meeting Maxim Shirokov, General Director of Uralkali, called the decision to deepen the channel "historical": "The bottom deepening work will produce a marked effect on the economics of our company. The volumes of shipment of fertilizers will increase. This is another step towards raising the competitiveness of our products on the world market."

Channel deepening will commence with the performance of design and surveying work. The project will be fully realized in one and a half year. Transport Minister of Russia Sergei Frank believes that the project will be recouped in 6 to 7 years: "The President of Russia has approved the transport strategy of the state. A transport balance has been determined, where St. Petersburg is designated as the main sea port. Therefore, our decision fully conforms to the key tasks of Russia for the coming years. The port of St. Petersburg must become the No. 1 port. An important role in this will be played by our decision to deepen the entrance channel and also by such high-tech enterprises as, for instance, the BBT."
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