A half of Estonian oil transit disappeared in a year due to Ust - Luga

Wednesday, 02 January 2013

The last nail was hit in the coffin of Estonia's old-fashioned transit business this year when an oil terminal operated by Russian state-owned company Rosneft was completed in the Ust-Luga port, 50 kilometres North East of Narva, Postimees writes.

Oil transit via Estonia fell practically by a half. According to the data revealed last week by Statistics Estonia, in the third quarter of this year, 2.6 million tonnes of transit oil moved along Estonian railways while at the beginning of last year, the amount was 5.3 million tonnes a quarter.

The situation is even worse with coal: while last year, the Port of Tallinn handled 345,000 tonnes of coal (1.5 million tonnes a year earlier) this year it will handle just 40,000 tonnes.

The newspaper says that this is the end of an era and transit that made hundreds of Estonians rich in 1990s, is over in its earlier form. While coal transport plunged after the Bronze Night events, oil transit has plunged this year.

EVR cargo board chairman Ahto Altjõe says that Estonia has lost 8-9 million tonnes of oil transit and the fall will continue next year. The state-owned EVR Cargo, which is the biggest transporter in Estonia, announced a few weeks ago of making a hundred employees redundant due to the fall of volumes.

While the main reason for disappearance of oil transit is opening the Rosneft terminal in Ust-Luga, coal transport suffered because of political relations and behaviour of Russian state railways that didn't allocate enough of transport carriages for railways.

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