Rail Garant has started the construction of the Muuga container terminal. According to plans, the terminal will receive its very first shipment of cargo already in the first quarter of next year. The cost of the project totals nearly 60 million euros – this is one of the biggest recent investments in Estonia originating from Russia. The terminal will employ 200 people.
The construction of the Muuga Container Terminal infrastructure, carried out by Port of Tallinn with co-financing from the European Union, was completed in summer 2010. The tender for finding an operator was won by the Russian transport operator Rail Garant with whom Port of Tallinn signed a contract last year on April 11.
“The construction work required to develop the terminal started at Muuga Harbor in the middle of January, as agreed in the contract. We plan to finish the first stage of the construction of the terminal within this year already with the completion of crane bases, railway branch lines, and the engineering infrastructure,” said Oleg Urnev, Board Member at Rail Garant Estonia OÜ.
Organized by Rail Garant, the tender for the construction of the terminal was won by a consortium of Insenerehituse AS and Lemminkäinen Eesti. “In the first phase of the project, meaning this winter, we will ram the piles, enforce the berth, build bases for cranes, and start the construction of the railway branch line. In the next phase in the spring we will start the construction of the terminal grounds,” noted Sven Pertens, Chairman of the Board at Lemminkäinen Eesti. Maardu City Government issued a construction license on October 20, 2011.
Installation of the equipment required for starting the first phase will be completed by the end of this year: crane equipment will be installed in the third quarter and the terminal will be launched in a test mode by the end of the year. According to plans, first cargo will be received in the first quarter of 2013.
By the fourth quarter of next year, the company plans to increase monthly cargo traffic to 10 thousand TEUs. The cargo volume predicted for 2014 reaches 125 thousand TEUs. “In that period we plan to reach full capacity for the first stage and start constructing the second phase that will in turn increase the terminal’s capacity to an annual 270 thousand TEUs,” stated Oleg Urnev.
The estimated volume of containers processed at the Muuga sea container terminal will constitute 300 thousand TEUs in 2015 and 400 thousand TEUs in 2016. The new terminal will employ 200 people.
According to Nikolai Falin, co-owner of the Rail Garant Group, the subsidiary Rail Garant Estonia plans by the end of this year not only to prepare for the launch of the new terminal at Muuga but also to achieve the position of one of Estonia’s leading shipping operators. “The container terminal built at Muuga can be used as a hub or a distribution station and our design solution will allow us to service ocean class vessels at Muuga,” Falin added.
Oleg Urnev said that Muuga Harbor and the terminal that is being built have the parameters necessary for servicing ocean class Panamax and PostPanamax type vessels with a board width of up to 42 meters.
“We plan to deliver 95 percent of cargo in container trains, which will have a positive effect on the transport deadlines and prices. Rail Garant has sufficient rolling stock to implement this plan,” said Urnev.
“The fulfillment of the Muuga terminal is supported by our own in-land container terminals in the Ural Mountains and Central Russia. By now such terminals are operating in Chelyabinsk and Perm, in the near future the company plans to set up warehouse grounds in Yekaterinburg, Nizhny Novgorod, and in the Oblast of Moscow,” he added.
“Containerization is the fastest developing segment of cargo transport in Russia, and growth is evident not only in the import segment: the way we see it, one of the key trends besides import is transit of Russia’s and CIS’s outward cargo. Our company is a major shipping operator in Russia, Kazakhstan, and Ukraine; we understand the plans of our customers, we know the nomenclature of goods and the geography of outward cargo,” noted Urnev.
According to the Mayor of Maardu City Georgi Bystrov, the launch of the new Muuga Container Terminal will have a positive effect on the city’s social and economic development, since new jobs will be created for Maardu’s citizens.
The Rail Garant Group is one of the leaders in the field of Russia’s transport of industrial cargo by rail, and is one of the top ten private operators in Russia. The group mainly transports coal, raw material for iron ore, ferrous and non-ferrous metals, polymers, liquid hydrocarbon gases, petrochemical cargo, oil products, large diameter pipes, and construction cargo.
The consolidated rolling stock of the Rail Garant Group reached 30 thousand carriages in 2011; the company’s development strategy is designed to increase the rolling stock to 50 thousand carriages in 2013. In 2011 the volume of cargo was 30 million tons.
Last year the sales revenue of the Rail Garant Group was 350 million US dollars, EBIDTA – 130 million US dollars. The number of the Group’s containers increased 1.6 times in 2011, constituting 2500 units with which Rail Garant secured its position as the largest tank container operator in Eastern Europe. Rail Garant is co-owned by Russian businessmen Sergei Gushchin, Nikolai Falin and Sergei Smyslov.