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NUTEP plans for expansion as volumes soar and new customers arrive

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NUTEP is expanding its landside operations to cope with an expected increase in traffic. The relocation and expansion of its existing rail facility will enable NUTEP to expand its CY to accommodate 20, 000TEU, compared to 12, 000TEU at present.

NUTEP, one of the leading container terminal operators in the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk, is to expand the capacity of its terminal there to accommodate on-going double-digit growth in the number of containers it is handling.

NUTEP, which is 100% owned by the Delo-Group, currently has three berths – 39, 39a and 39b – that provide a total berth length of 754m  and serve ro-ro vessels as well as container ships. This quay is currently served by three ship-to-shore cranes with a fourth crane on order. This new Liebherr post-Panamax crane should be commissioned in September and will take the terminal’s handling capacity to over 400, 000TEU per annum.

Novorossiysk is the largest container port in the Black Sea and the principal gateway to Southern Russia. Since May 2012, NUTEP has won two new regional/common feeder services:

  • United Feeder Service (UFS) has started a Turkey/Black Sea service with the port rotation Istanbul – Constanta – Poti – Novorossiysk – Istanbul. Currently, UFS is using a single 1022TEU vessel Volos to maintain the weekly service.
  • The ARKAS Group’s feeder specialist EMES is now linking NUTEP with two terminals in Istanbul – Marport and Mardas – on a weekly basis using three 1604TEU ships: Claire A, Diane A and Wanda A. This service forms part of the larger ARKAS East Med – Russia Express service that calls Novorossiysk, Marport, Gemlik, Izmir, Mersin, Famagusta, Alexandria, Marport and Evyap.

In the first five months of 2012, NUTEP handled 94, 270TEU, which was 18.5% up compared to the same period in 2011. Its main customers are Maersk Line, CMA CGM, Admiral Container Lines and CSAV.

NUTEP is also expanding its landside operations to cope with the expected increase in traffic. The existing rail facility is being relocated and expanded to provide a five-track railway park. The effective length of  the new park – 380-540 m – will facilitate the handling of two block trains simultaneously, compared to just one at the present time.

With the relocation of the existing rail tracks, NUTEP’s CY will expand its intake capacity from about 12, 000TEU to 20, 000TEU by early 2013.

Other terminals in Novorossiysk, NLE and NCSP – which both belong to the holding company Novorossiysk Commercial Sea Port – are also considering expansion of capacity in the coming years, based mainly on conversion of existing multi-purpose facilities to container handling.

In view of this development and increasing demand from its customers, who work with all three terminals, the Global Container Service Group (GCS) – being the largest private intermodal operator in Southern Russia and Novorossiysk – has recently added 224 rail flat-cars, each 80ft long, to its existing fleet and plans to increase the number of long-term leased flat-cars operated by Ruscon to over 450 units. These will be deployed in block trains operated by Ruscon, a member of the GCS Group.

As a multimodal specialist, Ruscon already operates several regular intermodal services from the port of Novorossiysk to principal destinations in the European part of Russia, including Moscow. This new capacity will enable Ruscon to expand its block train operations further.

Taking the long term view

Speaking recently, the Chairman of the Board of Directors of NUTEP’s parent company GC “Delo”, Timofey Telyatnik, said that they planned to triple the capacity of the container terminal and, in addition, to double the capacity of the grain terminal, which they also operate in Novorossiysk. This will be achieved by the construction of new railways and deepwater berths, he added.

Currently NUTEP is the biggest terminal in Novorossiysk in terms of capacity and second biggest by throughput. Telyatnik saw this as a positive factor. While the other two are running at close to capacity, especially in peak periods, NUTEP has ample capacity to take on new business. He emphasised: “NUTEP currently has the largest capacity reserve – 40% or over 150, 000TEU – in Novorossiysk and the Azov-Black Sea basin.

“Other container terminals operate at the limit of their capacity. We still have the reserve. We can say for sure that for the next two years NUTEP will be the only terminal with the capacity reserve.” 

Also worth noting is that the Azov-Black Sea basin share of the Russian market in 2011 was 14% or 676, 000TEU. In turn, Novorossiysk’s share of the Azov-Black Sea basin was 94% and NUTEP’s market share in Novorossiysk was 30% or 200, 000TEU.

Continuing on this optimistic theme, Telyatnik said: “Analysts are predicting market average growth of 10-15% but we anticipate that we will grow faster than the market. We have already seen an increase of 30% in the first quarter. In the first quarter of 2012, NUTEP handled 50, 700 TEU compared to 38, 670TEU for the same period last year.

“That’s why GC “Delo” plans even more – an increase of NUTEP’s capacity up to 600, 000TEU by early 2016.”

The 1068TEU Maersk Antwerp, seen at the NUTEP terminal in the port of Novorossiysk. This carrier calls regularly with 3000TEU ships on its ECUMED service.

Telyatnik then went on to talk about new berth and rail facilities.

“The realisation of two major projects will allow NUTEP to achieve significant growth in both container throughput and grain terminal capacity.

“The construction of a new berth, Berth 38, will enable NUTEP to take 6, 000TEU vessels on a draft of 15m. The total capital cost of the project, which has already been cleared with the Ministry of Transport and Rosmorport, will amount to US$140-150m.

“The berth itself costs $100m and will be built from federal budget resources. We will lease it and provide all of the handling equipment. Our investment will amount to approximately $40-50m. Construction will start next year and will continue till the end of 2015.”

The second project in the company’s business plan is the re-positioning of railway tracks. As was stated earlier, the existing container terminal rail link will be relocated to provide a new five-track facility but Telyatnik wants the grain terminal to benefit too:

“We are the only company which owns its own railway track into its terminal. It is just one track but soon it will be five, all linked directly to the main Russian rail system. Today, the railroad is run only to the container terminal but there is no railroad to the grain terminal; the grain is brought here by trucks and it puts us at a competitive disadvantage.

“We are investing $10m in railway construction, all from the company’s own funds. The contract has already been concluded, the works have been started.”

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