The transport forum “Infrastructure of the South of Ukraine” was held in Odessa on the 17th of June. Let us summarise it briefly.
The event was organized by Mintrans. The programme provides the following topics for discussion:
- Ukraine on the map of international maritime logistics;
- Competitiveness of Ukrainian ports;
- Port ecosystem of Ukraine;
- The impact of logistics on the production chain;
- Port industry financing;
- Export potential development.
The forum brought together several hundred representatives of the transport industry, mainly in the field of ports, maritime logistics and other similar topics. Minister of Infrastructure Alexander Kubrakov and Minister of Foreign Affairs Dmitry Kuleba made speeches at the forum online. The problems of ports, transport infrastructure and options for their solution were also voiced by local authorities – the mayor of Odessa Gennady Trukhanov and the head of the Odessa Regional State Administration Sergey Grinevetsky.
Grinevetsky emphasized the importance of the ports of the Odessa region, which are actually the sea gates of Ukraine, have about three quarters of all berthing transshipment capacities and handled 73% of all cargo, including 98% of transit cargo. Among the problems, he named ineffective port management, including the “acting” status of most of the heads of state-owned port facilities. This led to a drop in freight traffic. He also drew attention to the great age of the ships of the only large state shipping company – the Ukrainian Danube Shipping Company.
In turn, Foreign Minister Dmitry Kuleba spoke about the international interest in finding an alternative transport route from China to Europe, in which Ukraine and its ports are the most important link.
Odessa Mayor Gennady Trukhanov turned out to be more focused on local issues. He noted that the construction of ports since Soviet times contributed to the destruction of the coast of Odessa, emphasized the interconnectedness of the problems of the Khadzhibey Estuary dam, the city sewerage system with the development of port infrastructure, in particular, with the construction of a new road to the port of Odessa.
The interim head of the Administration of the seaports of Ukraine, Aleksandr Golodnitsky, announced the need to invest up to 17 billion UAH in the development of Ukrainian ports in the next six years. Most of this money will go for repairs and construction of berthing infrastructure.
Yuriy Dimchoglo, Advisor to the Head of the Odessa Regional State Administration for Transport and Infrastructure Issues, presented a project for the gradual transformation of Ukrainian Bessarabia into a multimodal logistics hub. It is planned to develop a railway network there – with the restoration or new construction of the railway to the port of Reni, the modernization of the railway to Izmail, the launch of the regional express “Izmail – Odessa”, as well as the idea of a railway ferry from Izmail to Romania (Tulcea).
In addition, Dimchoglo noted the growth of the tourist potential of Bessarabia, including in connection with the project to clear the canals connecting the Danube lakes. And until 2024, the operation of the airport in Izmalil will be resumed.