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In brief - 2004-07-28

  • 2004-07-28
Lietuvos Gelezinkeliai (Lithuanian Railways) may raise its cargo transportation rate in response to the growth in costs of veterinary and sanitary inspections, which could result in a drop in overall cargo handling at Klaipeda Port. With the introduction of EU veterinary and sanitary inspection guidelines, the tariffs for inspection increased - from 24 litas (7 euros) to 104 litas - and have led to a slowdown in cargo deliveries. The railroad, as a result, lost approximately 1.5 million litas in May alone, said Juozas Senuta, Lithuanian Railways deputy CEO.

Food shipments lost by Riga Port due to lack of proper veterinary control might not ever return, even after the port meets EU requirements, said Gundars Bojars, Riga mayor and chairman of the port's board. The mayor said the financial losses - incurred because the port has not yet built a EU-standard customs checkpoint for veterinary transit - were significant since food cargo was the most expensive. "The port's loss is $1 per ton, but the loss to Latvia's economy is very great," said Bojars.

Kroviniu Terminalas (Cargo Terminal), the Achema Group-controlled stevedoring company, has launched construction of a new 70 million lita (20.3 million euro) oil and chemical product terminal in the Port of Klaipeda. Audrius Pauza, CEO of Kroviniu Terminalas, said the compact and cost-effective terminal, which will handle 2 million tons of cargo annually, would enable them to make full use of the capacity of company-operated docks.

Pakterminal said that it handled a total of 5.08 million tons of fuel in January-June of this year, a record result and more than Eurodek, which handled 4.48 million tons. In 2003 and 2002, Eurodek's freight volume totaled 10.1 million and 11.2 million tons respectively, while Pakterminal carried 7.9 million and 8.4 million tons.

The Port of Klaipeda has surpassed rival Riga Port in terms of container handling. In June the Lithuanian port handled 14,560 TEU containers, surpassing Riga, which loaded 12,840 containers. Still, over the first six months of 2004, the Port of Klaipeda handled 77,400 TEU containers, a rise of 26 percent year-on-year, while Riga Port boosted container handling by 24 percent to 79,700 units. The Port of Tallinn ranked third, handling 55,960 containers.

The Port of Tallinn supervisory council considered plans for a new oil wharf at a recent meeting, though a final investment decision is only expected in the next few months. The new wharf will most probably be built in the part of Muuga Port currently used by the oil transit company Pakterminal, which has shown interest in the wharf. Tohver, however, stressed that the planned wharf was not intended for just one operator. An oil wharf built as an extension of a grain wharf went into operation at the port this spring and is used mostly by Eurodek.