Raivis Veckagans: “Mariupol Seaport remains among priorities”

USPA CEO tells about relations with steelmakers, trends in transshipment of mining & metals products and infrastructure issues

 

On 30 May, Odesa will host the Ukrainian Ports Forum, organized by the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA) and the Center of Transport Strategies (CTS). Ahead of the event, GMK Center decided to ask Raivis Veckagans, USPA CEO, about the Authority’s relationship with Ukrainian steelmakers, trends in transshipment of mining & metals products between seaports, problems of the port railway infrastructure and ways to solve them, and the role of steel products in the development of the port infrastructure.

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What is the share of steel cargoes in the structure of Ukrainian state-owned ports? Is their transshipment increasing?

— Steel cargoes remain among the main products in the transshipment at Ukrainian seaports. The share of ore and steel cargo makes up 33% of the total cargo turnover. Since the beginning of the year, steel products transshipment volumes have grown by an average of 13.3%. However, this does not pertain to all commodities. Transshipment of iron ore increased by a quarter compared to the same period of 2018, up to more than 2 million tons. This was due to export of Ukrainian products and transit transshipment. Meanwhile, the volume of ferrous metals going through Ukrainian ports insignificantly decreased, by 4.1%.

Transit of steel products through seaports of Ukraine increased due to the transshipment of products of Belarusian Metallurgical Plant in the seaport of Odesa to consumers in the EU, Israel, and Turkey.

We believe that the Belarusian direction could be quite promising in terms of transit cargo flows development. Last October, I met with representatives of the largest Belarusian companies: Belaruskali, Belarusian Railways, Belarusian Metallurgical Company, and Belarusian Oil Company. They seriously consider our ports as an alternative to the Baltic ports for exporting their products.

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