19 Mar 2019 14:03

Port to be built in Kalmykia, investment estimated at 41.3 bln rubles

ELISTA. March 19 (Interfax) - There are plans to build a year-round Caspian seaport with a cargo capacity of about 22.5 million tonnes a year in Lagan, Kalmykia, with capital expenditures estimated at 41.3 billion rubles, according to materials prepared by the government of the internal Russian republic and shared with Interfax by its head's press service.

The project has been approved by the region's government.

According to information published on the government's website, JSC Port Lagan, the initiator of the project, has already reached agreements with two major Chinese construction companies. Port Lagan's General Director Vitaly Daginov is cited as saying that POLY Group and China Energy Engineering Group International are ready to draw up design specifications and estimates for the port and begin construction this year. The Chinese partners are expected to visit Azov and Lagan in April.

According to material seen by Interfax, construction will last 4.5 years and take place in two stages. The first will last 35 months and cost 28.78 billion rubles, the second - 19 months and 12.52 billion rubles. In the first stage, five wharves for container ships, six grain wharves, eight general-cargo wharves, one auxiliary wharf, and one wharf for harbor vessels will be built; in the second, five wharves for container ships, two for refrigerated cargo, two for reshipping oil cake, and four for reshipping grain will be built.

The port's initial cargo turnover will be 12.5 million tonnes a year, including 5 million tonnes of grain, 0.5 million tonnes of vegetable oil, 5 million tonnes of container cargo, and 2 million tonnes of general cargo.

It is expected that 4,000 jobs will be created.

The materials say that the port will have a number of competitive advantages over the ports of Astrakahan and Olya, including the climate, which will make it practically a year-round port thanks to the lack of ice, and its location with respect to the International North-South Transit Corridor.

According to Daginov, the current flow of cargo from China to Europe is worth about $600 billion a year, and "almost all of this cargo is sent past Russia, sometimes along the TRACECA transport corridor, which uses the Caspian Sea," a state of affairs that the port in Kalmykia could change significantly.