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The surplus of ports and the shortage of railways
In the medium term, the export potential of the ports of the Far East will be in demand. But if RZD does not accelerate with the expansion of railway approaches, the possibilities of the port infrastructure will remain uncovered
Editorial EastRussia has repeatedly turned to the topic of growth in the port capacities of the Far East. The largest stevedores continue to build up their capabilities: thus, in 2017, the third stage of Vostochny Port JSC will be put into operation. A similar project in the same port is implemented by the "Sum" group; Earlier it was announced that the terminal for 20 million tons of coal will be earned from 2018 year. Obviously, the supply of Russian coal to the east will continue to grow. Will the ports handle them?
- The development of the port complex in the Russian Far East as a whole responds to the growth of export cargo flows of coal, which has largely concentrated in the direction of the countries of the Asia-Pacific region (APR), - comments Nadezhda Malysheva, Director for Development of the PortNews IAA. - As a result of 2015, the Russian seaports of the Far Eastern Basin provided transshipment of about 70 million tons of coal, increasing this figure by 2014% compared to 6 year, and doubling for the last 5 years. In the first half of the year 2016 this trend was preserved: coal handling in the Far East seaports increased by 18%.
A further increase in the shipment of export coal through seaports is impossible without the introduction of new port capacities. At present, several such projects have been announced, but not all of them, firstly, will be brought to the launch, and, secondly, not all will be provided with cargo.
The construction of a new specialized high-tech port takes an average of five years. At the same time, the volume of investments will be significant - about 20-25 million dollars for 1 million tons of transshipment facilities. This is in addition to the time and money spent on designing and approving the project. However, port investors have begun to implement a number of coal infrastructure projects in the Far East.
The most successful of them will be the third stage of JSC "East Port" (Primorsky Krai), which is put into operation the very first - in 2017 year. This project will not only collect all the additional export volumes of coal that gravitate towards the ports of Primorye, but also choose the available Transsib capacities, which are being reconstructed, but not in proportion to all the stevedoring projects announced in the region. The statement of JSC "East Port" about the transshipment of 39 million tons of coal for export in 2019 is very realistic.
Following in the “demand rating” of the new port infrastructure for coal transshipment, it is worth mentioning three new coal complexes in the port of Vanino (Khabarovsk Territory) with a total volume of more than 40 million tons. These projects have their own cargo base and, to a large extent, are provided by the already increased capacity of BAM.
The growth in demand for sea transshipment of Russian coal in the ports of the Far East is likely to continue in the medium term. But, as in any market, soon satiety is possible here. Therefore, it can be predicted that after 2020 there will be a surplus of port coal infrastructure in the region with a significant deficit in the capacity of railways.