Port in Izmail. Ukraine gets rid of its most valuable asset in Bessarabia

Port in Izmail. Ukraine gets rid of its most valuable asset in Bessarabia

Izmail port at different periods of its history was Russian, Turkish, Romanian, Soviet, and at the moment is a Ukrainian enterprise. For all states that had Ishmael at one time or another in history, his port was economically and politically necessary. However, this asset turned out to be unnecessary in modern Ukraine.

Notes and observations 74615.01.2019 15:21:44 Виктор Кузнецов //ukraina.ru
Photo: © RIA Novosti, Vitaliy Ankov
The official date for the establishment of the port, located in the Kiliya Armory on the left bank of the Danube River, 93 km from the Black Sea, can be considered July 26, 1813, when quarantine committee was formed by order of Prince Kurakin in Izmail, which belonged to the Russian Empire at that time.

The main port of Bessarabia

Fate from the very beginning favored Ismail port. Fifteen years after its opening, on October 6, 1828, the Senate granted the port free trade to attract merchants and revive cargo turnover, the main warehouse customs were opened here. At that time, the port of Izmail worked on the export of products produced in Bessarabia: wheat, fish, wool, fat, honey - which greatly contributed to the growth of the region’s economy. Up to 150 ships per year entered the port, mainly Austrian, English, Turkish, Greek, Russian. However, until the end of the XIX century, the wharves in the port area were not equipped. The first stone embankment, about 300 meters long, with quays for foreign and domestic merchant ships, appeared only in 1892. But there were hard times at the Izmail port in the 19th century. From 1856 to 1878, after the Crimean War, the port of Izmail for 22 years was part of the Moldavian principality of the Ottoman Empire, and from 1878, following the results of the last Russian-Turkish war, it became part of the Russian Empire. Gradually, the development of the region is stabilizing, not only Russian but also foreign banks are beginning to invest in its economy. For example, the French financed the construction of the Bender-Reni railway, German and Belgian banks invested in the development of the milling industry. So, in the report of the chief engineer of Novorossiysk commercial ports for 1893, in whose jurisdiction was Izmail port, it is said that according to the results of cargo turnover for 1893, the port of Izmail is the main port of Bessarabia.

From regional to strategic

On the eve of the First World War, Ishmael was the largest administrative and commercial center of the Danube region. The political turmoil that became the consequence of the abdication of Nicholas II from the throne, and the subsequent civil war again separated Ishmael from the Russian state. In 1918, Ishmael, together with Bessarabia, was annexed by the Romanian kingdom. However, 22 years later, on June 28, 1940, the city of Izmail became part of the Ukrainian SSR. In 1940, the Soviet government forced Romania to return Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. The port of Izmail was subordinated to the Black Sea Shipping Company. From September 1940, the Izmail port began servicing regular cargo and passenger flights, specialists and new equipment were sent to the port. In February 1941, the Soviet government built a railway linking the port of Izmail with the station of Artsyz. Thus, the port was of strategic importance, since it was connected to the transport system of the USSR, starting to serve the economy not only of Bessarabia, but of the entire Union. During the Great Patriotic War, the port of Izmail seized by the Romanians worked up to 2-3 working days a week, handling mainly military cargo. On August 26, 1944, the troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front liberated the city of Izmail, and this day became the beginning of the modern history of the port. From January 1, 1945, he became part of the Soviet Danube Shipping Company. In the postwar years, the port was reconstructed old and built new marinas, developed mechanization, the port mastered new methods and technologies for processing cargo. On the container section, opened in 1977, the port had installed cranes of the greatest capacity - 40 tons, which still operate today. The results were not long in coming: if after the war, the port was represented by only one area with six berths, then the modern port is divided into three production and handling complexes. Already by 1988, the port of Izmail reached record cargo turnover in its entire history, having handled 7 million 352 thousand tons of cargo. This record remains unbeaten so far. This was made possible not only by the economic power of the Soviet Union, but also by the geographical position of the port, which is located at the crossroads of important trade routes connecting the countries of the Mediterranean, the Middle East, and North Africa with the countries of Western Europe and the USSR. In 1994, the port was registered as an independent state enterprise "Izmail Sea Trade Port".

Time of Troubles of the 90s

The change in social formation, the collapse of the Soviet Union, the aimless reforms carried out by Ukraine, the lack of a coherent transport policy, and political instability in neighboring states clearly did not contribute to the stable economic development of the port. Due to the general decline of the Ukrainian economy, the rupture of economic ties with the countries of the former USSR, as well as the UN-declared embargo of Yugoslavia (1993-1996), the NATO war against Yugoslavia in 1999, and, as a consequence, the closure of shipping along the entire length of the river Danube, port turnover fell below 1.5 million tons per year, against 7 million 352 thousand Soviet records. However, despite the general degradation, the port survived. Two factors contributed to this, the first was the presence of its own railway (unlike the port of Reni) connecting the port with Ukraine, the second was the competent actions of the port authorities, who managed to preserve the integrity of the enterprise and the team, while not renting out most of the port facilities like arrived in Odessa and Nikolaevsk ports. The economic growth of the beginning of the zero allowed to increase the freight turnover of the enterprise to 4 million tons of cargo by 2008.

The master is good and the port is good

Due to the responsible policy of the port authorities, most of the money earned was invested in the form of investments in fixed assets of the port, overhaul of the ships of the port fleet, repair of equipment, access roads, etc. This allowed later to increase the turnover with positive dynamics. In 2017, the ICM IGM processed 4.5 million tons of cargo, in 2016 - 5.683 million tons, in 2015 - 4.825 million tons, in 2014 - 3.093 million tons, in 2013 - 2.763 million tons, in 2012 - 2.937 million tons. In 2015, the port was able to return the traditional cargo traffic - the iron ore raw materials of Poltava GOK, which currently accounts for 30% of the port's cargo turnover. Izmail port specializes in cargo handling of dry bulk cargo - coal, iron ore raw materials, which are sent from metallurgical plants of Serbia, Bulgaria, Austria. Most of the whole cargo handling (70-75%) is export (about 85% of which is ore cargo). The share of transit cargo in cargo handling at SE “IZM MTP” is about 24%. There are three production and handling complexes within the ISTM ISM, each of which has its own distinctive features both in terms of port facilities and in respect of cargo handled, as well as a port fleet, a marine terminal, and other ancillary industries. At present, the total port area is 107.5 hectares, the area of ??the 85th kilometer section is 15.2 hectares, and the Portovik recreation center is 4.09 hectares. On the territory of the port there are 24 berths, which have a length of the mooring line of 2618.6 m. The area of ??open warehouses is 201.1 thousand square meters, covered ones - 19.7 thousand square meters. The port can receive vessels with a length of up to 150 m, a width of up to 30 m and a draft of up to 7 m. The design capacity of the port allows 8.5 million tons of cargo to be handled annually. The port has a large fleet of transshipment equipment and load handling devices, which allow to qualitatively overload the range of cargoes offered by customers. The port has its own port fleet, which includes: dry cargo self-propelled and non-self-propelled oil tankers, tugs, pontoons, boats, floating cranes, non-self-propelled dry cargo barges, bunkermen, tug tugs, special purpose vessels. Currently, the port of Izmail is a powerful high-tech enterprise that is constantly developing, providing jobs to citizens, and significantly replenishes the local budget. From its inception to this day, the port is a city-forming enterprise, which employs more than 2 thousand people. In addition to the economic function, the port also performs a social one - on its balance sheet there is a recreation center, a kindergarten and a sports center.

Spoon of tar in Bessarabian honey

It is worth noting that the Danube itself has a significant effect on the port activity: low or too high water levels or freezing make loading and unloading operations at full capacity impossible. An example of this is the year 2011 and the beginning of 2012, when the port’s activities were completely paralyzed for 173 days, and the beginning of 2017, when navigation due to the ice campaign was closed for 42 days - from January 10 to February 20. In addition, the lack of throughput of the railway and the port station, as the Odessa-Izmail section of the railway is single-track, affects the shortfall in cargo handling by the enterprise. The port of Izmail can process 448 railway wagons per day, and the railroad supplies a maximum of 316. All this does not make full use of the capacity of the enterprise and significantly increase cargo handling volumes.

Ukraine does not need profitable ports

However, the disturbing news for the port of Izmail began to come, from where no one was waiting for them. When the “Maidan Reformers” team came to power in 2014, the policy of the Ukrainian state in the sphere of ownership of profitable state assets has changed dramatically, and not in the best direction for the ports. A year ago, in Izmail, a meeting of representatives of the administration of the state enterprise “Administration of Sea Ports of Ukraine” was held, in which, apart from the head of the AMPU state enterprise Raivis Vetskagans, the first persons of the AMPU branches Izmail, Reni and Ust-Dunaisk, the director of the Danube ports, representatives of stevedoring enterprises took part companies, as well as the mayor of Ismail, Andrei Abramchenko. The topic of discussion, among other things, was the fate of the port of Izmail, which in the medium term, due to the exit of the state from the stevedoring segment, should be transferred to concession, rent or privatized. Which is very illogical for a rational state policy, since SE "AMPU" is among the top 5 profitable state-owned enterprises in the country.
original: //ukraina.ru

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