• 2018 January 9

    Ports of Crimea decrease the loss

    SUE Crimean Sea Ports which is running the state property at the ports of Kerch, Yalta, Feodosia and Yevpatoria has started decreasing the loss for the first time since 2014. As IAA PortNews was informed by the company, the loss of 2017 was expected to be reduced zero. According to official financial report, the loss of CSP was growing from RUB 14 mln in 2014 to RUB 242 mln in 2015 and to RUB 405 mln in 2016. This trend was reversed only in 2017. The company attributes the improvement of financial performance to the efforts of Igor Chistyakov, new head of the company, who took the office in late April 2017.

    Apart from reducing the loss from RUB 370 mln to RUB 194 mln in the 9-month period, the new head of the company also managed to considerably decrease total accounts payable from RUB 646 in the first half of 2017 to RUB 394 mln in November.

    Optimization of Crimea ports’ activities is achieved with different measures. In October 2017, the port of Kerch took the delivery of new ferryboat Nina Malkova built by the Kerch based shipyard. Together with other ferryboats this vessel started carrying passengers, long vehicles (up to 4 units) and passenger cars (up to 16 units). SUE CSP expects the revenues from operation of this vessel at RUB 4 mln per month.

    Besides, in July 2017 the company raised the rates for Marine Directorate LLC (operator of Kerch-Kavkaz ferry service) which is using the infrastructure of CSP and therefore pays 3% (up from 1.1%) of ticket sales.

    The company also chartered a vessel for extraction of sand from the Donuzlav lake near the port of Yevpatoria. “Expected scope of extraction – 24,000 – 40,000 t per month will let the branch start self-financing”, says the company.  

    “The management of SUE CSP undertakes measures required for increasing the company’s revenues and receiving contractors’ payments”, the company told IAA PortNews.

    Despite stabilization signs, it is still difficult for the ports of Crimea to fulfill their financial obligations in full.

    Among the ports’ problems is the threat of transshipment reduction with the launching of the Crimea Bridge traffic. Its highway section is to be opened in December 2018 with the opening of the railway section scheduled for December 2019.

    In November 2017, Irina Chernenko, deputy of the Crimea Parliament, said that the company shows “all the signs of a bankrupt”. In her opinion it fails to perform Federal Targeted Programme in due time, therefore it will have to return money to the budget.

    As for SUE Sea Port of Sevastopol, its loss in 2017 is about RUB 63 mln, IAA PortNews was informed by Sergey Yemelyanov, head of the port. According to the company’s financial report, its loss in 2016 was RUB 39 mln, in 2015 – RUB 116 mln. Read more about the development of Sevastopol port in Port Service magazine which is to be issued on 1 February 2018.

    Difficult calculations

    It was not easy to calculate transshipment of cargo via all ports of Crimea to compare it with the results of the previous years. Apart from the state companies there are private stevedores not willing to disclose information about their activities.

    The following information was provided by SUE CSP to IAA PortNews: in the 11-month period, the port of Kerch handled 503,400 t of cargo, Kerch fishing port – 4,040,500 t, port of Feodosia - 212,500 t, port of Yevpatoria - 155,100 t, port of Yalta - 102,200 t. All in all, the ports of Crimea handled more than 5 mln t of cargo.

    Besides, Kerch based terminal TIS-Krym handled more than 4 mln t of cargo.

    The port of Sevastopol handled 304,000 t of cargo throughout the year of 2017.  

    So, total cargo transshipment at the ports of the Crimea peninsula exceeded 10.2 mln t in January-November 2017, which is a 4-pct decline year-on-year.

    Ferry service

    The dynamics of passenger transportation via the ports of Crimea is not clear either. Marine Directorate LLC, operator of the ferry service between the Crimea peninsula and the Krasnodar Territory provides daily information. Its operation can also be monitored by the statistics of Crimea’s Ministry of Tourism: in the 11-month period of 2017 the ferry service was used by 2.2 mln tourists (vs 2.3 mln tourists in 2016 and 1.8 mln tourists in 2015) who most probably left the peninsula the same way, so this figure should be multiplied by two.

    Marine Directorate provides somewhat different data. In September it serviced the 5 millionth passenger and carried the millionth vehicle. The result expected by the company by the end of the year is more than 6 mln passengers.

    There is one more ferry service in Kerch. It is run by a branch of SUE CSP. According to the company, it carried 60,000 passengers, 45,300 vehicles and 167,600 t of cargo in January-November 2017.

    Despite scattered data it is obvious that cargo and passenger flow via the ports of Crimea has stabilized. The authorities of Crimea together with the federal authorities are now facing a new challenge – efficient use and further development of port infrastructure on the peninsula.

    Aleksandr Alikin