The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority is considering the possibility of acquiring a dredging fleet, including with funds from international creditors. The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’s deputy head for economics Mykola Poltoratskyi announced this at the "Port Infrastructure Development Day" roundtable, the CFTS correspondent reports.

Specifically, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority is considering buying a dredger and taking ownership of two pieces of dredging equipment currently on the books of the Ukrvodshliakh state enterprise.

"We are considering the possibility of developing our own dredging fleet, but we do not have sufficient funds for this. Therefore, we are studying the possibility of obtaining loans for financing acquisition of this equipment," Poltoratskyi said.

According to him, the loans could come from Ukrainian commercial banks or international financial organizations. The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority clarified that it is ready to take a loan from a Ukrainian bank if its terms are acceptable.

In comments to the CFTS correspondent, Poltoratskyi said that the issue of acquiring a dredging fleet would be submitted to the Ministry of Infrastructure for consideration during approval of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Administration’s financial plan on Wednesday, April 5.

"We see ahead of us the task of performing dredging works in full and with our own resources. However, our fleet does not currently meet this need. In addition, the cost of doing this work with our own resources and the cost of doing it with the help of a contractor differ by a factor of 2-2.5. This is why acquisition is economically efficient. We want to include this task in this year's financial plan," he said.

The main criterion in choosing the equipment will be cost. The technical parameters of the future vessel have not yet been fully determined. "For now, we are planning to acquire only one unit of equipment: a dredger with a volume of at least 1,900 cubic meters, a draft of no more than 5 meters, and the ability to dredge up to 20 meters. This is an initial draft and we are still drafting the technical specifications," he said.

In addition, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority intends to initiate transfer of two pieces of dredging equipment from the Ukrvodshliakh state enterprise onto its books. "Other state infrastructure companies also have dredging fleets. For example, Ukrvodshliakh has two pieces of the fleet that are potentially of interest to us. If the Ministry of Infrastructure considers the possibility of transferring them onto our books, then we will completely meet our need for a dredging fleet. If this option fails, then we will plan acquisition of additional vessels," Poltoratskyi said.

The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’s dredging fleet currently consists of a Skif non-self-propelled dredger, which includes an MZ-348 multicat vessel; a Meotida trailing suction hopper dredger; a Tiligulsky trailing suction hopper dredger; an Ingulsky trailing suction hopper dredger; a Rion dredging convoy (which includes a Rion multi-bucket dredger, a Krymska-3 hopper barge, a Krymska-9 hopper barge, and an MZ-318 multicat vessel).

As reported earlier, the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority plans to perform about 20 million cubic meters of dredging work in 2017. The main ports in which this dredging work will be performed are Yuzhny and Chornomorsk.