The Ministry of Infrastructure intends to announce a competition for the right to lease the ferry complex in the port of Chornomorsk in early September or earlier.

Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Viktor Dovhan announced this at the Belgian embassy in Ukraine, where a contract for maintenance dredging of the Yuzhny seaport was signed on Tuesday, the CFTS correspondent reports.

"A major transport forum is planned in Odesa on September 7 with the participation of the premiers of 14 countries. Before then, we plan to announce a competition to lease a ferry complex. There are a couple of good candidates in Chornomorsk. We will hold a roadshow. There will be Chinese, the Caspian Shipping Company, and Ukrainian companies,” said Dovhan.

As reported, the Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company’s interest in the ferry complex in Chornomorsk became known in April this year, when an Azerbaijani delegation visited the Ukrainian port. The Azerbaijan Caspian Shipping Company’s Board Chairman Rauf Valiyev said that the Azerbaijani government had set the company the task of cooperating with Ukraine to implement the Trans-Caspian International Transport Route project quickly and successfully. In particular, this could involve leasing ferries.

Later, Dovhan said that the Ministry of Infrastructure had proposed that the Chinese company China Communications Construction Co., Ltd. (CCCC) participate in operation of the ferry in Chornomorsk as a concession. "We will begin talks on May 18, 2017, after a subsidiary of China Harbor Engineering signs a contract for dredging works in the Yuzhny port," he said at the time. 

It was also reported that China’s state-owned Sinohydro Corporation had shown interest in a concession in the Chornomorsk port. In an interview with the CFTS portal, Dovhan said that this this interest remained but concrete proposals had not yet been received.