Three private towing companies in Odesa have decided to merge to create a new company called BLAST, the CFTS portal reports, citing the Duma publication.

The companies are Navigate, Prime Agency, and Ukrflotservis. BLAST will have six tugboats: Australia, Alexandria, Big, Dubai, Rapid, and Ril.

In addition to towing, the new company can deliver supplies to ships, deliver cargoes to the roadstead, provide agency services, provide hold-cleaning services, provide mooring teams, and facilitate safe mooring of ships.

The Australia and Alexandria tugboats fly the Ukrainian flag while the Big, Dubai, Rapid and, Ril tugboats fly under the Moldovan flag.

The Odesa seaport’s acting Director Oleksii Miaskovskyi said that the new towing company and the seaport’s fleet are not going after each other's customers. “These are internal corporate affairs of the market players. The fewer competitors, the easier it is to reach understanding. It is good that we are not yet going after each other’s customers. Therefore the port fleet is operating normally,” he said.

As the CFTS portal reported earlier, the Odesa seaport is still hoping that cruise liners will begin calling at the port in June.