Russia’s river navigation has already closed in the Far East and northern Russia with the last barges now leaving the southern ports, according to sources Tuesday.
Navigation is now completed on the Volga-Baltic Sea basin where it mostly started earlier than usual due to favorable weather, the transport ministry said. Good conditions throughout the summer, with high water levels, allowed the movement of vessels with draft up to 375 cm, it said. The last river-sea barges reached St. Petersburg around November 18, an industry source said. Barges typically carry fuel oil along the northern export channel to the Baltic Sea to the ports of St. Petersburg, Vysotsk and Sillamae.
In the past they used to take fuel oil to the offshore storage at Kronstadt, off St. Petersburg, but that stopped some three-four years ago, said a source.
Navigation had also just been completed in northern Russia around the White Sea basin, the transport ministry said.
Water levels had been good throughout the summer. But earlier in November navigation was completed in Siberia in the Baikal-Angarsk basin, the transport ministry also said, adding that low water levels obstructed traffic throughout the summer.
Around mid-November, navigation was completed in the Far East in the basin of the river Amur and at the start of the month in the Pechora basin.
In southern Russia there are still barges completing their route along the Volga-Don canal before the navigation ends.
It opened in April and typically lasts until late November, depending on the weather, but stormy conditions in the Sea of Azov and Black Sea in September have hindered traffic around the Sea of Azov resulting in a queue of tankers waiting for loading at the port Kavkaz, according to sources.
Source: Hellenic Shipping News.