RO port Constanța may waste chance to ship Ukraine's exports due to poor railway connection
Ukraine is in talks with Romania on shipping its farming exports via the Romanian Black Sea port of Constanța, as Russia's invasion has blocked off Ukrainian ports, Ukraine's agriculture ministry said in a statement on Wednesday, March 30, Reuters reported.
But the Romanian port may be unable to seize the chance to boost its operations because of poor railway connections that act as a bottleneck, CursDeGuvernare.ro argues in an investigation about the state of the port infrastructure.
While visiting the port, transport minister Sorin Grindeanu recently estimated that only 50% of the railway infrastructure is used.
Both the port of Constanța and the railway company are under the supervision of the Ministry of Transport. Yet, the Ministry failed to carry out the necessary investments that would facilitate the larger transfer of merchandise.
Freight traffic through the port of Constanța increased in March 2022 by more than 23% compared to March 2021 (30,000 tonnes), to a daily average of 160,000 tonnes, because the siege of Russia on Ukrainian ports prevented ships from reaching their destination.
The railway company CFR has 256 kilometres of railway in the port of Constanța, while the Maritime Ports Management Company has only 59 kilometres. Another 11 kilometres belong to port operators.
CFR was to receive in June 2021 a feasibility study on the modernization of its railways in the port. Now, the company says that the deadline is 2022 and that "the traffic analysis of the Feasibility Study is completed, (and) the cost-benefit analysis follows, according to the JASPERS recommendations", CursDeGuvernare.ro reports.