A new coal terminal is to be developed at the port of Liepaja, Latvia, by Russia's Baxet Coal Terminal (BCT) company.
The BCT Company and the Latvian government are to invest an estimated 50-100 million Euros. Funding could also possibly come from the EU.
The BCT Company is reported to be connected to companies working within Russia's coal output sector, according to LETA. The coal would be transported at the port of Liepaja via rail and shipped to US, Western European and African markets. The next stage of the port's development is an environmental impact study.
The port of Liepaja is Latvia's smallest port in terms of tonnage throughput, handling just 4.4mn tonnes in 2009. However, the portmanaged to achieve respectable year-on-year throughput growth of 4.53% in 2009, despite the downturn, while throughput at the port of Riga increased year-on-year by just 0.54% and Ventspils' total tonnage throughput declined by 6.76%.
Over the mid term (2010-2014) it is predicted that the port of Liepaja's throughput will increase by a yearly average of 0.5%. If realised, this will see the port handling 4.49mn tonnes a year by 2014. The planned coal terminal at the port offers upside potential for the port's throughput forecasts, but as there are currently no launch data for the terminal, it is unknown whether the project will affect our mid-term outlook for the port.
The planned coal terminal will cater for Russia's coal-export needs. The country has considerable reserves of coal, with an estimated production output of hard coal of 201mn tonnes in 2009. Over the mid term, Russia's hard-coal production is forecasted to grow, with output of 238mn tonnes projected for 2014.
Many Russian companies are now developing export facilities at Latvia's ports. Traditionally, the Baltic States always played a role in Russia's trade needs and so freight networks are already in place. Iin 2009, it was announced that Russian chemical giant United Chemical Company (URALCHEM) plans to develop a dry bulk fertiliser terminal at the Latvian port of Riga, and that Russian Transportation Lines plan to build a Ro-Ro terminal at the same facility.