Baltic Transit Gateway 2000

5th International Conference 8 - 9 June 2000 Hotel Radisson SAS Daugava (Riga, Latvia)

 BRIEF REPORT ON THE CONFERENCE  


At the top table (starting from the left): Minister of Transport A.Gorbunovs, I.Graurs (chairman of the conference), Foreign Affairs minister I.Berzinsh, and Saema (parliament) deputy speaker G. Bojars.


International conference Baltic Transit Gateway (Riga, 8-9 June 2000) has been held for the fifth time in Latvia. The conference has repeatedly proved to be an extraordinary event full of surprises and unexpected turns.
The main intrigue of the conference, which has provoked intense discussions, was the hot issue of Russia’s measures on transit ‘nationalization’. Russia claimed to redirect the transport flows to its own ports, either reconstructed (St.-Petersburg) or built from the scratch (Primorsk). Despite the active opponency by Latvian participants (Anatoly Gorbunovs, Indulis Bērziņš, Guntis Beļskis, and others) who emphasized the economically profitable use of Ventspils and other Latvian ports, the representatives of Russia (Boris Usanov, Yuri Sayadov) treated the new route as a matter of fact vigorously stating their counterarguments. As the only escape from endless discussions several speakers mentioned the idea of consolidation of Baltic ports against the ‘Silky Way’ – renascent global route from China through Middle Asia and Turkey to Europe.

Baltic Transit Gateway 2000 has gathered 223 participants from 14 countries. The plenary sessions and panel discussions were held in Riga best conference-hall, Radisson SAS Daugava hotel.

Two trips to the ‘hot points’ – Latvia’s biggest ports, Ventspils and Riga - were noted among other conference events as of special interest.

Hot conference discussions were followed by wide response in mass media. Conference participants highly evaluated professional level of the event organization.


PUBLICATIONS & REFERENCES (abstract)  

LETA:

ST. PETERSBURG OFFICIAL CLAIMS THAT TRANSIT THROUGH LATVIAN PORTS UNFAVOURABLE FOR RUSSIA
Organizing transit through Latvian ports is unfavourable for Russia, the advisor to the first vice-governor in St. Petersburg, Boris Usanov, said today at the conference "Baltic Transit Way 2000".

According to Usanov, it is unfavourable for Russia to direct transit also through other Baltic ports, because by directing transit through Finland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, Russia loses about USD 2 billion, Therefore, Russia should upgrade its port at St. Petersburg in order to compete with the other Baltic Sea ports.…

 

Whereas, the academician at the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Mikhail Bronstein, pointed out that Russia actually saves a considerable amount of money by utilizing transit opportunities through the Baltic countries ports. Bronstein also cited information furnished by Minister of Transport Anatolijs Gorbunovs that Russia saves up to USD 10 billion by moving transit through the Baltic countries.
The academician expressed bewilderment over the estimates according to which Russia would suffer losses of USD 2 billion due to the Baltic States ports.

RUSSIAN INTERNATIONAL ROAD HAULIERS ARE INTERESTED IN COOPERATION WITH VENTSPILS CONTAINER TERMINAL

According to ASMAP (Russian Association of International Road Hauliers) representative in Latvia, Vladimir Kuleshov, “Noord Natie Ventspils terminals” is one of the most up-to-date terminals in the Baltic Sea region where ro-ro cargo transportation an be used.

Kuleshov has informed that a protocol on intentions as to the cooperation between Ventspils free port and ASMAP and transport line creation had been signed.

As one of the major hindrances, Russian representatives mentioned Latvian visa problem which has only been solved for 1 year ahead. As Kuleshov claimed, this is too little for cooperation perspective, so major part of road cargoes ‘goes off’ to Lithuania and Estonia.


INDICATION TO VENTSPILS PORT ADVANTAGES IN THE FIELD OF CRUDE OIL TRANSIT


Riga, 9th June, LETA. Hosting participants of the international conference “Baltic Transit Gateway 2000” at the Port of Ventspils, the Manager of the Port, Imants Sarmulis, has familiarized the guests with the advantages of Ventspils port.

According to Sarmulis, 1 ton crude oil transit through Ventspils, depending on weather conditions, is 1,13 to 1,41 USD cheaper than through the coming Port of Primorsk.

Sarmulis mentioned that the two-way travel of an oil tanker with carrying capacity of 100 000 tons from Ventspils to Rotterdam costs USD 239 346 while the travel of the same tanker from Primorsk to Rotterdam would cost USD 380 774.

Sarmulis indicated that for the period of one year oil transit through Latvia will therefore be 18,681 million US dollars cheaper. The above calculations consider only tanker ship’s travel while crude oil transportation cycle includes also dry-land transportation costs, said Sarmulis.

Manager of Ventspils Port has informed that about 70% of liquid cargoes are transported from Ventspils to Rotterdam.


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