11 Aug 2023 09:40

Construction of dry port to deliver Ukrainian grain to Italy starts in Zakarpatye

MOSCOW. Aug 11 (Interfax) - A multimodal logistics center intended to boost Ukrainian grain exports to Italy will be built in the city of Goronda in the Zakarpatye region's Mukachevo district as part of a project backed by the Italian Economy Ministry, Ukrainian media said, citing the Business. District news website.

Italian Economy Minister Adolfo Urso has rallied Italian business circles around this project, including the railway and the owners of Italian ports in Venice, Verona and Trieste, the media outlet said. Urso has invited them to join it and become the co-founders of this terminal.

The logistics center will use a European-type narrow-gauge railway. A dry port, which will be situated on this railway, will connect Ukraine with Italian cities, from which Ukrainian products will subsequently be transported to other countries.

"We have been searching for some logistics platform with a convenient geographical position with the obligatory presence of both broad-gauge and narrow-gauge railways. Here, in Zakarpatye, we have narrow-gauge railways in Chop, Mukachevo, the Batevo station and in Strabichevo. Private businesses have already been operating everywhere, except for the Strabichevo station. That is why, we decided to restore our narrow-gauge railway. These are vacant territories covered with shrubs," Goronda administration head Ivan Turyanitsa said.

The community has allocated more than 40 hectares of land for the construction of a dry port.

The new center is expected to become a regional hub that will offer intermodal logistics services and will be able to store grain, sunflower oil and containers.

The terminal will rely on container logistics to ensure its maximum integration with Europe's logistics culture. Such a solution will also help significantly reduce logistics costs.

The terminal's access to three narrow-gauge railways in Slovakia, Hungary and Romania allows it to diversity its logistics routes reaching Italian territory 930 kilometers from the city of Trieste.

The center will also improve the flow of Ukrainian grain and sunflower oil to the European Union thanks to the ability to transfer cargo from a broad-gauge 1,520mm railway to a narrow-gauge 1,435mm one, the availability of warehouses and container solutions.

The Italian side is interested in this cooperation because Italy buys a large amount of wheat from Ukraine, including whole wheat, as well as corn and rapeseed. By investing in such projects, the Italians can find advantageous positions for themselves as well.

Furthermore, during a presentation of the Goronda Platform dry port project in Rome, the Italians also announced other joint projects, including the delivery of Italian equipment for Ukraine's renewable energy sector, facilitating Ukraine's access to Italian innovations in the pharmaceutical industry, programs to upgrade healthcare and rehabilitation establishments, programs in the aerospace sector, steps to rebuild schools and hospitals in Kiev, Odessa and Sumy, and projects to safeguard Ukraine's cultural heritage.