Last week saw the inauguration of a new ro-ro terminal at the port of Ust-Luga in Russia, built and operated by logistics provider Russian Transport Lines (RTL). Novaya Gavan terminal is located 14km to the north of the main port at Vistino but is incorporated in the Commercial Sea Port of Ust-Luga as a separate cargo area.
The development of the terminal promises to accommodate for the growth in ro-ro cargo through the Gulf of Finland as the Russian automotive market grows and as the current infrastructure at the port of St Petersburg becomes stretched by increasing volumes and the limitations of its existing infrastructure.
RTL will start operations at Novaya Gavan over a 20-hectare space as part of a three-stage development plan that will double in 2012 and reach nearly 60 hectares by the third stage in 2013. By that time berth depth is targeted to be 12 metres and the wall length 265 metres, accommodating for the unloading of ro-ro vessels with side and rear ramps. Long-term development could provide room for expansion up to more than 190 hectares said the company.
RTL said the new terminal offers the advantage of a reduced transit time of up to two days on the route between Europe’s major ports and Ust-Luga, compared with navigating to the port of St Petersburg. There are no passenger ferries at the Vistino location, it is a more sheltered and there is the possibility of long-term storage for large shipments in the customs zone according to the company.
Novaya Gavan will provide the full range of terminal services including loading and unloading, customs storage and processing, PDI and related technical provision and onward delivery by both road and rail. The terminal has access to two motorways linking with St Petersburg and Tallinn in Estonia.
The ceremony to mark the start of operations at Novaya Gavan was to have involved the inaugural call of Nissan Motor Car Carriers’s (NMCC) M/V City of St Petersburg with a shipment of Renault and Nissan vehicles for the Russian market to demonstrate the capacity of the terminal for attending guests. However, RTL ran into problems in securing confirmation for the vessel call from the necessary authorities and resorted to a ‘Plan B’ reroute to the port of St Petersburg, 150km to the east, where it also handles vehicle unloading and terminal processing.
“We faced complexity in the process of getting confirmation for the vessel call from the authority bodies and it was better not to risk it and [instead] call back the vessel to our terminal in the port of Saint-Petersburg,” said a spokesperson for RTL.
She went on to say that the company is now waiting for approval from an inter-departmental commission, expected later this month, whereupon vessels can begin making calls at the new facility.
Nissan launched the energy efficient City of St. Petersburg at the beginning of this year for the shipment of Leaf electric vehicles to Northern Europe and Russia from the port of Tyne in the UK.
The Kyokuyo Shipyard in Japan built the 21,000-ton vessel, which has the capacity for 2,000 of the vehicles. It is operated by Euro Marine Logistics, a joint venture between MOL and Hoëgh, which also control NMCC