Exactly one year ago, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the construction of new rail ferries for the Ust-Luga - Baltiysk line. The construction of the first ferry is being prepared to begin the Nevsky Shipbuilding and Shiprepairing Plant. In the sea, it will not be released until 2021. Meanwhile, this season the line works intermittently. One ferry got on repair, the second was almost arrested because of the tenant's debts on wages.
In June 2017, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed an order to build three new ferries for the Ust-Luga-Baltiysk line. New vessels are needed to remove the region's dependence on the tariff policy of the railways of Lithuania and Belarus. At first, the authorities expected to implement the concession project, but then refused this scheme and reduced the number of ferries to two. In reality, by 2020 the line will receive only one ferry, the construction of which FSUE "Rosmorport" in early June commissioned the Nevsky Shipbuilding and Shiprepairing Plant. The federal budget reserved for these purposes 5.1 billion rubles. The work completion date is set for November 2020, which means that the line will not be delivered to the line before the spring of 2021. In the meantime, a resource is running out of the old ferries operating on the line, and their main operator is being harassed.
Three minus two
Now three railway ferries are assigned to the line: "Ambal", "Petersburg" and "Baltiysk". The route is in demand with the shippers. The ferry "Baltiysk" usually carries out 6-7 flights a month. Over the past year, he transported 7053 cars, 2,818 vehicles and 976 passengers. The ferry "Petersburg" last year transported 2191 cars, 1456 units of automotive equipment, mainly construction equipment, and 1,427 passengers - and this is in view of the fact that until July 2017 the ship was under repair and operated only in the second half of the year. As told "Fontanka" in OOO "Trans-Exim", which accepts ferries in the Kaliningrad port, today the carriage of one car costs 50 thousand rubles plus VAT.
However, following the results of navigation in 2018, the main operator of the Black Sea Ferris Limited (BFI) line seems to be short of revenue. The BCFL rents St. Petersburg and Baltiysk ferries from FSUE RosMorPort, thus controlling the lion's share of the ferry transport market between Ust-Luga and the Baltic.
Ferry Petersburg, faced with a ban on going to sea in the Estonian port of Paljassaare at the end of April, is now in sludge in Tallinn. As Fontanka was told in Black Sea Ferris Limited, the wage arrears to the St. Petersburg team were partially repaid on June 14-15, but the ferry remained on sludge, as the company did not decide what to do with the vessel further. "There are options: the ferry will either leave the line, or it will be sold, or it will stand in sludge," the Black Sea Ferris Ltd press service said. "When the final decision is made, there is no clarity yet."
The crew of the ferry "Baltiysk" also recently found itself in a state of siege. On the eve of the Day of Russia, the captain of the port of Ust-Luga imposed a ban on leaving the ship at sea because of the debts of OJSC Black Sea Ferris Limited before the team.
Thus, at the peak of the season, only "Ambal", which belongs to the company "Oboronlogistika", remains on the line "alive", and mainly transports cargo for the Defense Ministry.
Transport security under threat
"Since January 1, excises for fuel have been raised and the ferry" Petersburg "has become very unprofitable," said Alexander Shkola, deputy director of Trans-Exim. - "Baltiysk" continued to work, but one of the two engines failed. And meanwhile, when in August 2017 all three ferries got on the line and worked efficiently, the Lithuanian railways immediately reacted to this and sharply reduced transit payments for Russian cargo. But the Railways at that time did not react to this, which led to the hard situation in which the operator of the line turned out to be. "
Three ferries, according to the deputy director of Trans-Exim, would be enough to solve the problem of transport security in Kaliningrad. "As soon as work on the line stops, Lithuania will immediately increase its railway duties," says the School. - They are monopolists. Through Poland, no one is lucky, the hook is too big. And in Lithuania, besides, the same standard wide gauge, as at our railways ».
However, the new ferries, which will be built according to the decree of Medvedev, according to the School - the way to nowhere. "These ferries are purely railway. And there should be cargo-passenger. Of course, not multi-purpose ferries cost in construction cheaper, but this economy will be back in the future. Even when military shipments go by rail, they must be accompanied. And the new ferries will not be able to land more than 12 people in the convoy. Not to mention the military men who went on vacation, often with their cars, "- says the logistician.