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According to Dmitry Demidovich, Deputy Minister of Infrastructure of Ukraine, Ukrainian ports are finalizing the Feasibility Study (FS) for potential investment projects that will be out for concession tenders, the Information-analytical Bulletin of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine reads.
«Today, the ports are preparing feasibility studies for concession tenders. One study by
Youzhny port has already been completed. Berdyansk, Mariupol and Ilichevsky ports are finalizing their paperwork, the port of Odessa has offers, too. Therefore, next year we will be able to hold the first tender and attract investors for Ukrainian port concessions,» said Dmitry Demidovich. The Interdepartmental Committee will hold a meeting in the near future to review a Feasibility Study for Youzhny port (Odessa Region).
The Working Group of the Ministry of Infrastructure will revise the Feasibility Studies of investment projects, then will approve and submit them to the tender committee, whose objective is to ensure equal rights for all bidders. According to the law, the tender committee must include at least five people from various stakeholders: Ministry of Infrastructure, local authorities, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, State Agency of Land Resources of Ukraine, independent experts.
According to experts, the ability of Ukrainian ports to compete with European, Turkish and Russian ports depends on the fast and successful implementation of new large-scale investment projects. Port concession will help the government reconstruct them at no cost, and increase their turnover.
The concession mechanism that is used by the leading maritime nations of Europe is proposed by the government in a public-private partnership. It has a number of advantages over other forms of cooperation. In particular, it ensures transparency of attracting investors, effective control of the state, legal protection of investment, target development of port infrastructure, and a performance guarantee from all concession agreement parties.
Experts believe that the strategic interests of the state will not be affected by the passing of Ukrainian ports to concessionaires. Concession cannot cover port waters, access and approach channels, operating area piers, jetties, breakwaters, harbors, navigation aids, vessel traffic management systems and other strategic port infrastructure.
At the same time, experts note, port concession may provide more revenue to the state budget than the current level of annual dividend, which now comes in from the business activities of ports. For example, in 2011 the budget received about 460 million UAH in dividends. And in 2012, revenue from sales of services of commercial seaports came to about 5 billion UAH.
The Ministry of Infrastructure estimates that 25 billion UAH are required to upgrade sea ports. The depreciation of fixed assets in the Ukrainian ports is about 60–90%