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What`s wrong with the plan of the development of the sea gates of Donbass? Analysis of initiatives (expert O. Ivanyushenko)

The advantage of the Mariupol port in operation any type of ships. But the port development plan focuses on transshipment of MMS products (mining and metal complex)

Since the days of the USSR, when the Ukrainian port system was formed, almost all the factors that determine the structure of port facilities have been changed. These are other types of cargo and other sources of shipment flow  and a completely new economic and political environment

It is obvious that for the development of a competitive and stable industry we need development plans that most comprehensively take into account current realities. In the modern world  it often happens that a great plan can become outdated and non-competitive even at the stage of its development.

Approximately this situation arise  with the development plan of the Mariupol Sea Port.

Usually, the port is associated with the cargo of the MMS - in Mariupol there are two large metallurgical enterprises, and  metallurgical and coal industries of Ukraine are concentrated mostly in Donetsk and Lugansk regions.

However, in addition to MMS products, the territory of the port area also generates a lot of other cargoes

For example, about 4% of all Ukrainian grain production and about 6% of oilseed production, most of the harvest is exported by sea in the form of grain or oil.

If we compare the structure of transshipment at SP Mariupol in 2013 and 2018, in front of the   reducing volumes of transshipment of almost all cargoes, grain transshipment practically did not decrease.

In 2013 the percentage of grain in transshipment was 3% and in 2018 it had increased to 8%.

It is worth noting that the attraction of agricultural cargo to the port is the merit of the private business that built a grain terminal and a sunflower processing factory in Mariupol

And this happened even without effective mechanism of public-private partnership in the ports, which are able to give an extra incentive to the development of the industry. At the same time, MMS products remain key for the port.

Current development plan of the Mariupol SP makes the main emphasis on the development of transshipment of MMS products, which was appropriate in 2013. So,  in particular, it is planned to create a coal terminal with a capacity of 4 million tons with beach nourishment and building of access infrastructure.

This does not correspond to modern realities with a blockade of the Azov ports by Russia, with a restriction on the size of vessels calling into the Sea of ​​Azov, and military operations in the east of Ukraine.

It is obvious that in the current situation there is no reason to rely on an increase in transshipment volumes to the pre-war level. This makes plans of building a coal terminal impractical

In accordance with paragraph three of Article seven of the Law of Ukraine "On Ukrainian Sea Ports" the development of the seaport is carried out in accordance with the development plan of the seaport, which is formed taking into account the development plans of sea terminals as well as enterprises whose main products and / or raw materials are objects of export-import operations and are served as cargo in the seaport.

In addition to the uselessness of capacities, the plans of the building of a coal terminal absolutely do not take into account that private stevedoring companies are already working in the port or near it, which currently provide grain transshipment and ship repair.

In particular, the planned transfer of the dock is expensive and difficult to implement,  and can significantly complicate the activities of the Azov Shipyard, the only Ukrainian shipyard in the Sea of ​​Azov at present time.

If you recall the difficulties associated with the passage of Ukrainian military vessels through the Kerch Strait, then the support for the activity of ASRZ is a matter of national security of Ukraine.

In addition to economic issues, the implementation of the port development plan is also difficult from a legal point of view. Despite the Law of Ukraine " On Ukrainian Sea Ports ", which entered into force in 2013, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine has not yet approved the boundaries of the territory and water area of ​​most ports, including Mariupol one.

How can development be possible if the territory and water area are not defined, within the framework of which the port should be developed?

And not the last question is ecology. The construction of a coal terminal is planned in the direction of the city beach. It is unlikely that the citizens will enjoy sunbathing on coal dust instead of sand.

So far, the implementation of the development plan of the Mariupol SP has not entered the construction phase, so there is still time to revise it taking into account the current realities and interests of all parties.