Russia and sanctions – Dredging costs on the rise

Russia’s port infrastructure will see a massive development in the coming years – there are infrastructure projects covering all waterways of the country.

Jan De Nul

According to the Port News, in the North-West Region, Russia will build up the capacity of dry bulk terminals.

In the Kaliningrad Region, the construction of a passenger ferry terminal is underway in Pionersky. In the Arctic, the existing ports are being reconstructed and new projects aimed at transportation of LNG, coal and ores are being implemented.

And also in the Southern Basin, the capacity of ports is to be boosted for handling general and dry bulk cargo. Across the Far East, current projects are focused on handling of containers, coal and LNG.

Also, there is a plan to develop fish terminals in Makhachkala, Vladivostok, Nakhodka, Kamchatka and Sakhalin.

Considerable works are to be performed on inland waterways of Russia.

Lotos Shipyard photo

Dredging – the most challenging part

To implement all the announced plans, it is necessary to perform an essential scope of dredging works which represent the most challenging and costly part of most projects.

In Russia, the customers of dredging works are FSUE Rosmorport (in most of seaports of Russia), Rosatom’s FSUE Hydrographic Company (Northern Sea Route infrastructure), FSUE Natsrybresurs (fish terminals) and IWW basins’ authorities (subordinate to Rosmorrechflot).

In 2023, Rosmorport plans to increase the scope of dredging works by 3%, year-on-year, to 23.9 million cbm, Andrey Boldorev, Head of the Department for Investments and Strategic Development, FSUE Rosmorport, said at the  6th International Congress “Hydraulic Engineering and Dredging”.

The scope of capital dredging is planned at 7.3 million cbm, and maintenance dredging at 16.6 million cbm.

In particular, capital dredging for the terminal of Novotrans is estimated at 5.9 miln cbm, for Ultramar terminal – 0.5 miln cbm, for Port Pionersky project – 0.9 million cbm.

As for maintenance dredging, the works are to be conducted on the Volga-Caspian Shipping Canal (12 million cbm) with the remaining volumes to be dredged in the Kronshtadt canal.

Jan De Nul photo

State Atomic Energy Corporation Rosatom is going to dredge 13.5 million cbm in 2023, said Maksim Kulinko, Deputy Director of Rosatom’s NSR Directorate.

According to Kulinko, dredging works are to be conducted on the Sea Canal in the Gulf of Ob (6.5 million cbm), under the project on construction of oil terminal Bukhta Sever (2.7 million cbm), under the project on development of the Syradasayskoye coal field (1.8 million cbm).

Besides, the scope of maintenance dredging at Utrenny terminal in Port Sabetta is estimated at 1.5 million cbm. The remaining volumes of maintenance dredging will also be dredged at Utrenny terminal (the fourth embankment), in the shipping canal in the Gulf of Ob and at the seaport construction sites.

The scope of dredging on inland waterways is planned at 23-25 million tonnes for 2023, Konstantin Anisimov, Deputy Head of the Federal Marine and River Transport Agency (Rosmorrechflot), said at the Congress.

According to him,  the volume of dredging works on inland waterways of Russia totaled 22.9 million cubic meters in 2022. 

When speaking at the Congress, Andrey Boldorev said that considerable increase in the cost of dredging works in 2022 is explained by the withdrawal of European dredging companies (Boskalis, DEME, Jan De Nul, Van Oord) from the Russian market and the attraction of dredgers from the friendly countries to cover the shortage of the technical fleet.