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2018 January 18

Advanced solutions for ports

Russia numbers more than 60 seaports and dozens of stevedoring companies. Mooring facilities and docking equipment at many of them are obsolete and worn-out while their domestic production is not sufficient. This situation opens great potential for foreign suppliers.

The market won’t wait

Throughput of Russian ports has been growing from year to year despite the crisis and the sanctions. On a mid-term horizon, port infrastructure will see further development amid lack of facilities in some cargo segments and directions. In the Baltic Basin, the demand for additional dry cargo transshipment facilities is at least 40 mln t per year, in the Southern Basin – over 50 mln t per year. Annual deficit of coal transshipment facilities in the Far East Basin is estimated at tens of millions of tonnes. Besides, it is necessary to build LNG terminals in the Baltic Basin and to develop them in the Far East Basin.

In this respect, there is a plan to implement a number of investment projects.

The end of 2017 saw the launching of the first production train under the Yamal LNG project. The train’s annual capacity is 5.5 mln t of LNG. With the launching of the next trains, shipments from port Sabetta are expected to reach 16.5 mln t of LNG per year. In the future, Sabetta is also supposed to handle up 70 mln t of dry cargo. That will require the construction of railway approaches.

Besides, construction of several LNG terminals is planned in the Baltic Basin. Baltic LNG project at the port of Ust-Luga is to become the largest one with its annual capacity of up to 10 mln t. Investors of the project are Gazprom and Shell. LNG will be exported to the countries of the Atlantic region, Middle East and South Asia. Investments into the project are estimated at RUB 660 bln. Baltic LNG is to be put into operation in 2022-2023.

Two smaller terminals are to be built at port Vysotsk with Gazprom and Novatek as investors. Those terminals will let arrange bunkering of vessels with LNG.

In the Far East, there is a plan boost the capacity of the Sakhalin based LNG plant. Gazprom is going to increase the plant capacity by 5.4 mln t per year in the framework of the third production train.

Moreover, the company is looking into construction of a small LNG plant in Vladivostok.

To solve the problem of insufficient dry cargo handling facilities in the Southern Basin there is a project to create a dry cargo area at port Taman. In the long-term prospect, its cargo turnover is to make 100 mln t per year.

The project on comprehensive development of Murmansk Transport Hub and port Lavna which underway in the Arctic Basin will let increase cargo turnover by 20 mln t of coal per year.

The project on creation of a dry cargo area at the port of Arkhangelsk is under consideration. Its implementation is interlinked with the development of the Belkomur Railway project. The confirmed cargo base is 10 mln t per year, which is almost 40% of the new terminal’s design capacity.

Taking into account the demand of shippers, total deficit of Far East ports’ capacity will make 70 mln t per year by 2020 including 66.5 mln t of dry bulk cargo and 3.5 mln t of grain.

Another project underway is the construction and reconstruction of infrastructure at Vanino seaport in the Muchke Bay (Khabarovsk Territory). When completed, it will increase the port’s capacity by 24 mln t per year. The project was initiated by Sakhatrans LLC. Total financing – RUB 25.5 bln. Completion of the project’s first phase is not expected before 2019.

Besides, there is a project of SK Maly Port, LLC. It covers the reconstruction of Berths No34-35 at port Vostochny, access canal to Berths No31-35 and water area of Berths No34-35. With the project implementation (scheduled for 2019), the port’s annual capacity will increase by 500,000 t of coal.

Also, Daltransugol JSC, owner of a coal terminal at port Vanino in the Khabarovsk Territory (part of SUEK JSC), is going to perform reconstruction of its facilities to increase the port’s capacity to 40 mln t per year.

Furthermore, there is an Order “On Approving Federal Regulations for Industrial Safety “Industrial safety regulations for facilities storing crude oil and petroleum products”” (No 461, dated 7.11.2016), according to which all berths handling hazardous cargoes should be equipped with mooring monitoring systems. In view of this ruling, many customers tend to initiate consideration of fitting their berths with such systems.

Having summarized all more or less realistic projects on expansion of port infrastructure, total capacity of Russian ports may surge 1.5-2 times to far more than 1 bln t by 2030.

In search of equipment

Steady increase of cargo throughput requires regular modernization of port equipment. However, Russia lacks domestic equipment production facilities and know-how. Without doubt, this deficit will be gradually overcome but on a mid-term horizon Russian market of port equipment is a sweet spot for foreign manufacturers.

Meanwhile, leading international suppliers of equipment have been successfully tapping into the Russian market.

Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, one of global leaders in the segment of port equipment for docking and mooring, has an official distributor in Russia - Trade Logistic Company LLC. In 2010-17, the Company supplied equipment to dozens of berths at the ports of Saint-Petersburg, Taman and the Far East. The Company’s Laser Docking Aid System, the first in Russia, is currently being assembled at two berths of Tamanneftegas CJSC.

Specific feature of Russian port infrastructure is associated with the location of many promising ports in the freezing seas with routine operation under extremely low temperatures. For example, port Sabetta destined to become the world’s largest Arctic harbor is beyond the Arctic Circle. Even Baltic ports further south have to operate under severe winter conditions. Those willing to gain a foothold on the Russian market should supply equipment fit for extreme conditions.

The Company’s division for offshore oil & gas and infrastructure construction, Trelleborg Offshore & Construction, is a leading global project supplier of critical solutions deployed in highly demanding environments. The Company offers polymer-based solutions for exploration and extraction of offshore oil and gas, sealing and vibration-damping solutions for tunnels, bridges and other large construction and civil engineering projects as well as marine infrastructure products like fenders, marine bollards, mooring systems with quick release hooks, meteorological stations, navigation buoys, ship shore links for gas and oil terminals, portable pilot units, automated mooring systems, as well as equipment for oil and gas transportation and equipment ensuring efficient shipping worldwide.

Rapid development of Russian ports created ideal conditions for investments by international suppliers. The only question is which of the manufacturers is the first to combine the efforts of its divisions with those of Russian partners in order to apply its innovations for successful implementation of projects in the Russian market of port equipment.

Sofia Vinarova