16 ships called the Danube ports for export
Map: congestion of ships at the passage of Sulina
As of 8:00 p.m. on July 12, 2022, sixteen commercial vessels that will transport Ukrainian agricultural products to foreign markets have already passed through the Bystre mouth of the Danube-Black Sea waterway channel and will be waiting to be loaded with Ukrainian grain. More than 90 ships are waiting for their turn to enter Ukrainian ports on the roadway of the Sulina channel. A total of 135 vessels are on the roadway of the Romanian Sulina Canal.
The passage through the mouth of Bystre to the Ukrainian Danube ports ("Izmail", "Reni" and "Ust-Dunaisk") became possible two days ago thanks to the liberation of Snake Island from Russian troops.
"In the last 4 days, 16 ships have already passed through the mouth of Bystre. We plan to maintain this pace. The restoration of navigation through this canal is an important step, which will also allow the unloading the Sulina Canal raid and speed up grain export.
Unfortunately, at present, its capacity and the organization of work on this channel make it possible to receive only 4 ships, if at least 8 ships are needed per day. At the same time, we are negotiating with Romanian colleagues and representatives of the European Commission regarding the increase in the number of crossings through the Sulina Canal.
Under these conditions and the availability of a route through the mouth of the Bystra, we expect that within a week the congestion of ships on the raid will be eliminated and we will be able to increase the monthly export of grain by 500 thousand tons," said Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine Yuriy Vaskov.
At the request of the Ministry of Infrastructure of Ukraine, the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine joined the organization of transportation by civilian ships.
Before the opening of the Bystre estuary canal, vessels carrying out cargo transportation in Ukrainian Danube ports had to use a single transport route - the Sulina canal, which is located on the territory of Romania.
Its limited capacity allowed the Danube ports to receive only 4 ships per day, which is not enough for the needs of Ukrainian exports.
The United Nations (UN), which plays an essential role in the negotiations on the unblocking of Ukrainian seaports, has already welcomed the decision to open the Bystre estuary to traffic and supports the increase in cargo transportation through the Sulyna Canal.
Today, due to the blockade of seaports, which before the full-scale invasion accounted for approximately 80% of the export of agricultural products of Ukraine, the export of food takes place exclusively through the Danube ports, railway and road checkpoints on the western borders.
Their capacity is currently not sufficient to fully replace seaports. In particular, in June, it was possible to export approximately 2.5 million tons of products through the existing logistics routes, while the monthly need for exporting such products is 8 million tons.