Romania Black Sea grain route
July 24, 2023 - Romania’s Constanta port -- Ukraine’s main alternative route for grain since Russia’s withdrawal from the Black Sea shipment deal -- can handle 25 million tonnes of grain annually.
Even before President Vladimir Putin killed off the UN-brokered Black Sea Initiative on July 17, Constanta had handled roughly a third of Ukraine’s grain exports since the start of the war.
The port of Constanta is the largest in the Black Sea and also the deepest, providing depths of up to 18.5 metres. In addition, Constanta can ship 65 million tonnes of crops and TEU (twenty-foot equivalent unit) containers a year, double the volume of Odesa.
While the Black Sea corridor accounted for about half of Ukraine’s volumes -- 16.3 million tonnes over the past six months -- Constanta handled an additional 7.5 million tonnes of Ukrainian grain.
The new 19.3km-long train line between Ukraine’s Rakhiv, Berlebash and the Romanian border will enable freight trains to transport crops to Constanta. Each 30-wagon train can carry 2,100 tonnes of Ukrainian grain.
“Speed is everything,” says Viorel Panait, the port operator Comvex manager and the Constanta Port Business Association president.
Since the start of the war, Comvex has invested 4 million euros ($4.4 million), says Panait, mainly in new conveyors. Convex is also upgrading its grain storage capacity by 25% to 250,000 tonnes.