The EBRD gets ready to invest in the Russian seaport sector

The EBRD has conducted a survey on Russian seaports to prepare for strategic sector investments.

Russian economic growth since 2000 and the related rapid expansion of the foreign trade have underlined the importance of the country’s seaports that facilitate almost 40 per cent of cargo’s export traffic. With more than 95 seaports operating in three main basins: the North Western (gateway for St Petersburg and Ust Luga), the Southern (Novorossyjsk), and the Far Eastern Basin (Vladivostok and Vostochny), Russia has the largest port sector in the Bank's countries of operations.

An expanding sector

The sector requires adequate infrastructure investments to handle the growing throughput levels and remove existing trade bottlenecks. In order to explore investment opportunities, in 2010 the EBRD commissioned a port sector survey study to obtain necessary information and advice on the most beneficial use of the Bank’s lending resources in Russian seaports and to stimulate their growth and expansion.

Reviewing ports and forecasting demand

The survey, which was financed by €400,000 grant funding provided by the Netherlands, reviewed and analysed the sector’s regulatory and legal framework, the main cargo flows in three basins and the environmental policy requirements for port operations. It also assessed the seaport business competitiveness and provided a demand forecast.

After a selection based on criteria such as government support, financial standing and environmental issues, a list of potential investment opportunities has been prepared for the next three to five years to allow the EBRD to prepare an informed strategy for future investments in Russian ports.