The Yuzhny seaport (Odessa region) has reviewed operations in 2013.

The port started implementing a project that involves dredging its approach channel and the waters of its berths No. 5 and No. 6 in 2013. The company Moebius Construction Ukraine won the relevant tender, and work began in February.

"The effect [of the project] can already be seen today, since we are currently able to bring vessels with drafts of up to 16.5 meters. For example, such a vessel was immersed at our berth in October, whereas the maximum possible draft did not exceed 14.2 meters before the work," said Oleksandr Lahosha, the director of the state stevedoring company Yuzhny Merchant Seaport.

Upon completion of the project in 2014, the depth of the approach channel will reach 20-21 meters and the depths of the berths 19-21 meters. This will allow vessels with capacities beginning at 200,000 tons (Capesize) to load fully at the berth. Currently, the loading of such vessels has to be completed at an outer harbor located a few kilometers from the port’s gate.

The port also continued to upgrade its fleet in 2013. Earlier this year, the port took delivery of the Vladimir Ivanov tugboat, which is the most powerful at the Yuzhny port. According to forecasts, the cost of this vessel should be recouped in five years. However, it may be recouped earlier because demand for vessels of this class is high, said Lahosha. In total, four tugs have been added to the Yuzhny port’s fleet over the past three years.

Lahosha said that the issue of increasing the capacity of the railway adjacent to the port should be addressed together with other issues - construction of a berth, a terminal, and roads to them. According to him, pre-design and design work on modernization of the port’s railway infrastructure is currently underway.