DFDS Tor Line announced it planned to launch a passenger and cargo ferry service from Ventspils to Lubeck on Sept. 1. Increased traffic on the operator's Riga-Lubeck line in recent months has prompted the move, the company said. The route will be covered twice a week by the Palanga ferry, which has a capacity of 126 passengers and 900 line meters of cargo. DFDS Tor Line, which merged with Latvia's Latlines late last year, operates the Vilnius and Kaunas ferries between Riga and Lubeck four times a week.
The Ventspils Nafta oil transit concern posted losses of 9.4 million lats (14 million euros) for 2003 on a net turnover of 55.4 million lats, the company reported on July 22. However, the company posted an estimated profit of 1.2 million lats for the first half of 2004. Last year's results were considerably worse than in 2002, when the concern posted a loss of 667,000 lats on a turnover of 65.8 million lats. Cargo handled at the oil terminal was up 68 percent.
The shipping company Latvijas Kugnieciba (LASCO) has closed its VentLines cargo and passenger ferry line between Ventspils and Travemunde, Germany, and said it was seeking a new ferry to cover the route. LASCO reported that the ferry line would not be operating for the time being, as the rental agreement for the Kaptan Burhanettin Isim ferry expired on July 15. The ferry had been servicing the route since late July last year. The shipping company stated that it had considered hiring or buying other vessels for the route but nothing suitable was found. The company will continue looking for a ferry to cover the route, it said.
Kalija Parks, a potassium salt terminal in Ventspils Free Port, reloaded 2.4 million tons of cargo in the first six months of this year, unchanged from the same period in 2003. The company's net turnover in 2003 was up 1.3 percent to 8.5 million lats (13.07 million euros), but profit dropped 20.9 percent to 121,900 lats. In 2003 the company handled 4.8 million tons of cargo, up 2.2 percent from 2002. Kalija Parks is one of the largest potassium salt and other mineral fertilizers bulk-handling terminals in the world.
The Ventamonjaks terminal, which handles chemicals and oil products in Ventspils, posted earnings of 521,000 lats (801,500) last year, finally breaking into black after two years of losses. According to the terminal's annual report, the company also boosted its turnover by 51 percent to 11.2 million lats. Last year Ventamonjaks reloaded 1.67 million tons of cargo, or 46 percent more year-on-year. In the first half of 2004 the company handled 1 million tons of cargo, up 14 percent from the same period last year.