Ust-Luga: ferry crossing has started to function

In the commercial port of Ust-Luga the construction of a combined multipurpose cargo-and-passenger, auto-railway ferry complex, which intends to link the ports of Ust-Luga – Baltisk – German, is near to completion. This summer in the ports of Baltisk and Ust-Luga the railroad cars roll-on on the ferry boats “Klaipeda” and “Baltisk” has been successfully performed. Our interview – with Konstantin Goncharov, the director of the Ust-Luga branch of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ROSMORPORT.

- Konstantin Vasilievich, the best in Russia ferry complex has been built in the port of Ust-Luga, capable to receive two different types of big ferry-vessels. Can you please elaborate on this?

- The design of the complex, the construction of which started in 2003, many times was a subject for updating changes. At first, it was intended to handle the ferry-vessels of “Sakhalin-6” type, with the capacity of 25 railroad cars. However, it was decided later on to build a complex for the ferry-vessels of “Mukran -103” type, with the capacity of more than 50 railroad cars. The ferry-vessel was named “Klaipeda”.

For the project economic improvement, the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation made a decision to revise the feasibility study to make it possible to use one more sea ferry of ice-class – “Rider”, capable to transport up to 100 railroad cars or 135 tank-cars, and roll-on equipment. The ferry-vessel, purchased this year by the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ROSMORPORT, was modernized in Germany and was commissioned under the name “Baltisk” this July. In the port of Ust-Luga, for the first time in the world, a special bridge structure is installed, capable of handling the two ferry types – “Rider” and “Mukran-103”. To make it possible for the “Rider” type ferry vessels to come to the onshore facilities, the stern part of the ferry vessel and the bridge structure were reconstructed.

The ferry vessel “Rider” can accommodate 1900 running meters of loaded railroad cars on its five lines on the three decks. Those can be tank cars with oil and flat wagons with automobiles, as well as 7 hazard class freights. Besides the railroad rakes, the ferry can take a freight transported by automobiles.

We invited the both vessels in the port of Ust-Luga for the hoist-passing bridge test and the railroad cars on the ferry roll-on . The first trial roll-on was carried out on July 18 on the vessel “Klaipeda”. In the first decade of August the receiving and mooring of the ferry “Baltisk” was carried out successfully, the railroad cars roll-on and roll-out were also performed. Special Design Bureau took part in the test, rating the docking result as “good”. The both rolling-ons were performed late at night.

- The first part of ferry complex, which has started to function, for the time being will handle the cabotage shipment on the line Ust-Luga – Baltisk – Ust-Luga. What kind of freight will bee shipped by ferries and when the line to the German shores will bee opened?

- Construction freights, coal, and oil in tanks will bee transported by the ferries to the port of Baltisk. Now up to 40 railroad cars per day, mainly with construction freights, go to the Kaliningrad Region by land. It is uneconomical. By September the freights will go by sea, reducing the transportation costs. The opening of new line Ust-Luga – Baltisk will allow to accomplish the paramount task, assigned by the president of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin: to connect the Kaliningrad Region to the main territory of The Russian Federation.

The second line will connect Ust-Luga and Baltisk to the ports of Germany. We plan to launch the route at the beginning of 2007. This will allow to increase turnover of commodities with the Kaliningrad Region and to extend the economic ties with Europe. Lumber will go from Russia to Germany and equipment for the plants of the Leningrad Region and other regions of the country will be transported on return route.

To the end of the present year the ferry crossing will be operated in experimental regime. However, even now we are fully ready for routine operation. In September the loaded ferries will be going from Ust-Luga to the port of Baltisk. Now, we are forming transport flows together with the Oktiabrskaya and Kaliningradskaya railroads personnel. In 2007 up to 1 million tons of freights will be transported on the ferries.

The potential of the ferry line Ust-Luga –Baltisk - ports of Germany is sufficiently great – up to 6 million tons of freights per year. However, it is necessary to adjust the work with clients and elaborate logistic schemes.

- The railroad cars park size is of large importance for the regular functioning of the ferry line. Is it sufficient?

- By now equipped with state of the art electronics railroad car park equipped with state of the art electronics has been built in the port. It has extension of 7.2 km of 14 lines, accommodating more than 200 railroad cars simultaneously. This is sufficient to receive the maximum quantity of railroad cars, rolled-out from the ferry, and to prepare 100 railroad cars for shipment, forming them in rakes of 5-6 cars (“lengths”).

However, the further development of the ferry complex is bind to the south railroad car park, administrative utility buildings, and sewage treatment facilities, which will serve the whole south part of the port. The north park, which now receives coal cars, will expand too. Its capacity is already insufficient as the coal transshipment volume will make more than 4.5 million tons this year. To achieve in the perspective the turnover of freights of 8-10 million tons per year, it is necessary to double the north park capacity, and now the design work is being carried out.

It is necessary to construct the entrance railroad tracks, including distant ones.

- The ferry is called auto-railway. When the loads on wheels will be shipped on the ferry along with the rolling-stock?

- Special financing is necessary for the complex automobile part construction – either out of state funds, or at the expense of investors. Territory sufficient for the whole ferry complex has been engineered, with the area of more than 30 hectares.

To start the automobiles shipment on the ferries it is necessary to construct the infrastructure objects, a check point, power supply facilities and a road. The considerable part of the job has been done.

- The customer and developer of the auto-railway ferry complex is the State in the name of the Ust-Luga Branch of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ROSMORPORT. What kind of difficulties did you have when constructing this technically complicated facility?

- The branch chief engineer office was doing everything required to provide the smooth work of subcontractors, which were more than 50. There were more than 5000 people working on the site – this is a great army of workers and engineers. Part of the work was carried out under unfavorable weather conditions. A large quantity of special equipment was involved.

I reckon that another achievement of the Ust-Luga Branch personnel is that along with the ferry complex construction and the construction of the port as a whole, research activities on the region ecology have been also conducted.

Interviewed by Olga Loskutova

Go to Index of # 3(17) 2006


# 3(17), 2006

Konstantin Goncharov, the director of the Ust-Luga branch of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ROSMORPORT

Konstantin Goncharov, the director of the Ust-Luga branch of the Federal State Unitary Enterprise ROSMORPORT