26 April 2012

Dmitry Firtash reveals plans to develop Nika Tera seaport

firtash_v_portuWhile making a visit to Nika-Tera Seaport in Nikolaev, Dmitry Firtash said that its throughput capacity may be increased five times from the current 4-5 million tons to 20 million tons of freight annually.


"It's obvious today that the first stage of the port development is lifting its reloading capacity to 12 million tons per year. I think this phase will have been completed at the end of the next year," said Mr. Firtash.


Further expansion plans envisage the freight turnover to 20 million tons a year but the capacity may only be increased after the essential infrastructure is put in place. This, in particular, includes building a bypass road and a new railroad lay-by terminating at the port, said Mr. Firtash.


"All Nikolaev ports could have collectively process up to 50 million tons of freight in a year while today, they only reload 18 million tons. Nika-Tera alone could achieve a 20-million-ton level but there is one problem: if these freights are to be shipped, what will happen to the city and its roads? The city will be cut into halves, no one will be able to drive freely, the traffic will be paralyzed," acknowledged Mr. Firtash.


The entrepreneur is positive that this challenge has to be addressed with joint forces of investors, local and central power authorities. "Let's form a working group focused on this issue and go to the Cabinet of Ministers to persuade them that this infrastructure may be done. We might even invest our own money in it, yet against a certain guarantee mechanism. It could be, for instance, governmental promissory notes which we can eventually count into VAT or a profit tax."

Dmitry Firtash also commented that subject to the government's authorization of a 15-kilometer long bypass and lay-by construction, investors may assume commitments related to municipal social projects. "We can sign a social agreement taking up responsibility for donating certain funding for social programs. I think, the mayor will have quite a list of expectations – from schools to polyclinics," said Mr. Firtash.



Nika-Tera is the only private port in Ukraine and upon its reconstruction completion, it may rank among the country's three major ports along with Odessa and Yuzhny.