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Caspian collapse: the cargo turnover of Russian ports fell almost to zero
Material posted: Publication date: 21-05-2017
According to the Association of seaports of Russia, in the first four months of 2017 the volume of cargo handling in seaports of the Caspian basin fell by 48,4% - to the level of 1.1 million tons.

In fact, this situation is described by the word "collapse" in the total freight turnover of Russian ports (250,3 million tonnes) in the Caspian sea have only a fraction of a percent, and the situation is constantly deteriorating. If during four months, the Russian ports showed a growth of turnover by almost 11%, the ports of the Caspian sea did the rest.

Especially strongly reduced the turnover to Makhachkala commercial sea port (MITI) — on 73,7% (to 316.1 thousand tons of cargo). This is primarily due to the fact that for the last couple of years of this port, left most of the oil companies — now they pass their oil through Baku. The main reason for this — the regular cases of deterioration of oil passing through the port of Makhachkala and the adjacent oil depot "Dagnefteprodukt".

"With an acceptable water content of 0.5 per cent in the oil 5-10% water; last year in the port, there were 29 technological stops. "Transneft" wrote a lot about it," — said in a recent interview with Forbes Dagestani businessman Ziyavudin Magomedov, owner of Summa group, which was many times called a contender for the privatization of the ISCP.

While Magomedov has hinted that in the port of Makhachkala may have nothing to privatize: "I don't know what he will become by the time of privatization that will be. He disassembled, all oil workers to leave. So let's see when it will be privatized — whether to privatize to the point, and whether we would be interested".

Equally deplorable situation in the ports of the Astrakhan region. Cargo turnover of the port of Astrakhan for four months amounted to 759,8 thousand tons (minus 17.6 percent to January-April 2017), and the port Olya in the Volga Delta up to total of 53.1 thousand tons (-19%).

Last port in General is a classic example of wasted public money. Its infrastructure is financed based on the fact that Ola (accent on last syllable) will be one of the key points in the intersection of international transport corridors "North-South" and "East — West", but in reality all plans to increase freight turnover remained empty ambition. However, the same can be said about Makhachkala port, which in the last decade, also received considerable government investment in its infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the competitors of Russia in the Caspian region only increased the capacity of its ports. In particular, the volume of cargo turnover of sea ports of Azerbaijan in January-March 2017 amounted to 2,729 million tons, which is 26.1% higher than in the same period last year. The port of Aktau (Kazakhstan) there is an active expansion of infrastructure, which will allow to increase the turnover with the countries of the Caspian sea up to 25 million tons per year. Actively developing Caspian port infrastructure in Turkmenistan and Iran.

Against this background, the Russian government's attempts to introduce "breakthrough plans," new port facilities on the Caspian sea in the form of the notorious project "Caspian hub" look, to put it mildly, unconvincing. At the current state of Affairs in the Caspian ports and taking into account political factors (in Dagestan, next year will see another change of power is nearing the end of another term of the Astrakhan Governor Alexander Zhilkin) to begin implementation of these plans will in the best case at the end of this decade, when the gap will become even stronger.


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