12 Dec 2023 13:54

Belarus still interested in port project near Murmansk for shipping goods to China - governor

MURMANSK. Dec 12 (Interfax) - Belarus still has plans to build a port near Murmansk and is working on the project, while the decision must be accepted by the republic's leadership, Governor Andrei Chibis said in an interview with Interfax.

"Belarus sees us as a promising port and is working on issues related to shipments to China," the governor said.

"The current status, which needs to be further packaged and finalized, is a request from our colleagues for a separate port with a fairly large transshipment capacity, the figures are significantly higher than those mentioned earlier," Chibis said.

It was previously reported that the terminal's capacity for transshipping Belarusian mineral fertilizers would be 5-7 million tonnes per year.

Several options have been proposed for the location of the Belarusian port, Chibis said.

"More recently, we had Belarusian specialists who once again examined and structured everything. I think the final decision will be made in the near future, namely how, where, and what volumes, and we will begin work. (...) After all the calculations, the decision must be accepted by the leadership of Belarus," he said.

Earlier, in February of this year, a delegation from the Ministry of Transport and Communications of Belarus came to Murmansk to study sites for port infrastructure.

"We are interested not only in a global sense in the port specifically for potash fertilizers, but also in principle for the flow of Belarusian cargo - both export and import," Deputy Minister Natalya Aleksandrovich said.

In December 2022, the governor of the Murmansk region said that work on the design of the Belaruskali mineral fertilizer terminal could begin on the western shore of the Kola Bay in 2023, and construction could begin in 2024 under an optimistic scenario.

Last September, a meeting between Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and the governor of the Murmansk region took place, at which a decision was made to redirect some of Belarus's cargo to the region.