Dredging Fleet, a new branch of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority (USPA), was entered into the Register of Legal Entities on February 9 and registered with the State Fiscal Service’s office of major taxpayers on February 12. The new branch was established in accordance with the Cabinet of Ministers order No. 409, and it is already preparing a plan of priority measures for performance of dredging operations. The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority announced this to the CFTS.

The head of the Dredging Fleet branch is Serhii Bomchak, who was previously the director of the Ukrainian River Ports Authority.

According to the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority, the main goal of the branch’s operation will be centralized navigational support in seaports and navigable inland waterways, including “ensuring guaranteed dimensions,” performing dredging operations, and ensuring the safety of navigation.

"A total of 11 million cubic meters of dredging work will be performed in all ports – from Mariupol to Reni – this year. The financial allocates more than UAH 1.3 billion, which is one-third of the total capital investment, for this purpose. To ensure the success of dredging projects, the new branch will have all the necessary functionality, as well as a dredging fleet. In addition to dredging seaports, the branch will also perform the relevant work in inland waterways," the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority’s head Raivis Veckagans said.

According to Bomchak, the new branch will first consider the possibility of performing dredging works on River Dnipro.

The head of the Ukrainian Seaports Authority recently said that the new branch was being created with the aim of concentrate dredging operations. Currently, maintenance dredging is performed by Delta Pilot, which is another branch of the Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority that also performs pilotage of vessels. "We want Delta Pilot to concentrate on piloting operations while a new branch will be responsible for dredging," Veckagans 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).

The Ukrainian Sea Ports Authority invited tenders for construction of a trailing suction hopper dredger in September last year.