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Steps taken for deepening Danube at Sulina Bar and streamlining of traffic from port of Constanta

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The River Administration of the Lower Danube (AFDJ) in Galati has taken the steps to deepen the river at the Sulina bar, so that even ships with a maximum total mass of over 7,500 deadweight tonnes can reach Sulina, so that the maritime channel can take over part of the cargo flow from the port of Constanta.

The general director of the Sulina Free Zone Administration (AZL), Dragos Ionita, told AGERPRES that he hopes that AFDJ Galati will soon finish the technical expertise of the shore defenses at the Sulina bar, the area where the Danube flows into Black Sea, Agerpres.

"The expertise will indicate the dredge tolerance of up to 11 meters deep. This is about dredging of 1,400 meters in lengths and 100 meters in width for the access corridor of the ships. We estimate a dredging volume of about 300,000 cubic meters of alluvium, which would not be very much. It is a relatively simple work, but it is very important to know that the shore defenses support this dredging," said the general director of AZL.

Ionita also said that the Ministry of Transport has made a commitment to finance both the study and the works that will be carried out at the Sulina Bar and that the elevation increase from 7.2 meters, as it is now, to 11 meters will allow access to the Danube ports of ships with a maximum total mass of up to 35,000 tonnes deadweight.

Another advantage of the exploitation of the facilities in Sulina is the fact that the barges on the Danube do not need pilots, as it is well known that all maritime vessels that enter the Sulina channel need pilots, and since the beginning of the war in Ukraine there has been a shortage of pilots.

According to the source, the carrying out of this project will allow a transit of goods of 500,000 tonnes per month, a quantity that would represent about 36% of the total volume of goods that transited the Port of Tulcea in 2020, according to the data made public on the website of the Maritime Danube Ports Administration S.A. Galati.

Moreover, on Thursday, the Tulcea County Council (CJ) hosted a hybrid meeting on the subject of the congestion of ships at the Sulina Bar.

"Manfred Seitz, Director General of the Secretariat of the Danube Commission, spoke about European support for the development of a project, which aims to optimize traffic in this area of the world, giving assurances that European structures will be open to proposals from the Romanian side. The hybrid meeting was attended online by Alain Baron (from the Directorate-General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission), Denis Malone (World Food Program - UN), respectively Mark Davis (EBRD regional director for Romania and Bulgaria)," the CJ press release specifies.

Since the beginning of the war in Ukraine, every day hundreds of ships wait up to 64 days to enter from the Black Sea through the Sulina channel and reach the Danube ports, given that all Ukrainian ports on the Black Sea are blocked.

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