9 Jun 2023 21:06

Kakhovka HPP accident to seriously affect navigation along Dnieper - Ukrainian Shipping Service

MOSCOW. June 9 (Interfax) - The incident at the Kakhovka Hydropower Plant has seriously affected navigation along the Dnieper River, as the Kakhovka Gate was the lowest one through which vessels passed toward the sea, Ukrainian media quoted Yevgeny Ignatenko, head of the State Service for Maritime, Inland Waterway Transport, and Shipping, as saying on his social account.

The incident has actually brought a halt to Ukrainian exports, Ignatenko said.

The water level in the Kakhovka Reservoir is decreasing at a rate of 10 centimeters per hour. The minimum level of water in the lower pound of the Zaporozhye Gate allowing for its lockage is 14 meters, it said. As of June 7, the level was 16 meters.

In addition, the flood has destroyed or damaged the infrastructure of ports and terminals located in the region and caused numerous vessels to sink. There have been reports on major spills of oil and other hazardous and polluting substances into the river.

The Shipping Service is working with the owners of about 50 vessels that are currently stranded in the Kakhovka Reservoir. "Our goal is to facilitate their redeployment from their current bases upstream the Dnieper, through the Zaporozhye Gate. The Dnieper will remain navigable upstream from the Dnieper HPP, and it will not be such for a long time downstream. After the water level drops, the vessels there might run aground, which might pose the risk of a spill of fuels and lubricants," Ignatenko said.