Center of Transport Service "Liski" (CTS Liski), the logistics unit of the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company, intends to operate the "Heroes of Shipka" and "Heroes of Plevna" ferries on the Trans-Caspian route. The company is currently implementing the measures necessary for introduction of the ferries into operation, Ukrzaliznytsia said in response to a request from the CFTS.

The ferries will be able to begin operating on the Chornomorsk-Batumi route only after all types of repairs are performed. СTS Liski is currently preparing to invite fresh tenders for provision of services involving repair of the "Heroes of Shipka" ferry’s engine and repair of the "Heroes of Plevna" ferry. The date of announcement of the tender has not yet been revealed. The previous tender was canceled because fewer than two bids were submitted.

Earlier, СTS Liski invited foreign experts to assess the state of the ferries. A group of experts from the Norwegian ship-repair company Fiskerstrand inspected the ferries in June this year to determine whether they needed overhaul or modernization, as well as to determine the required spare parts. A representative of the Rolls-Royce company also examined the engines.

In addition, in July, the logistics unit of Ukrzaliznytsia invited tenders for supply of fuel oil and diesel fuel worth UAH 101.5 million for the ferries. The winner was the Kyiv-based Skela Tertsium company.

Recall that the road-rail ferries "Heroes of Shipka" and "Heroes of Plevna" were built ay the Yugoslav Uljanik Brodogradiliste shipyard (Pula, now in Croatia) in the second half of the 1970s. Similar types of vessels were also built at Norwegian shipyards. The Black Sea Shipping Company operated the ferries until the early 1990s. The ferries were leased to the Ukrferry shipping company in the 2000s and transferred onto the books of СTS Liski in December 2015.

Related: Ukrzaliznytsia To Become Operator Of Sea Ferries