Bulgaria. Port terminal Burgas East 2 repurposed to handle grain container ships


Bulgarian grain producers have gained a foothold on the global markets. For the first time Panamax vessels with an up to 14 m draft are loaded to maximum capacity at Port Terminal Burgas East 2, BTA learned from the port concessionaire.

Panamax is a term for the size limits for ships traveling through the Panama Canal.

The vessel Navios Esperanza with a length of 225 m and a draft of 12.60 m is being loaded with 62,000 tonnes of grain, destined for Saudi Arabia. Since the start of harvesting, four grain container ships have been loaded at the port. Some 42,000 tonnes of grain were sent to Israel, and another 55,000 tonnes to the Spanish port Tarragona. Another Panamax vessel is berthed in order to be loaded.

Until now the ports in Varna and Burgas could only service vessels with a maximum draft of 11 m and a maximum load capacity of 50,000 tonnes. Due to the high transportation costs Bulgarian grain exports were only in the region of the Mediterranean. Vessels in the Black Sea region were loaded to maximum capacity only at the Romanian port of Constanta and several Ukrainian ports.

The only deep-water port facilities have been put in place in Burgas to handle cargo for the Kremikovtsi steel plant. After the plant's closure, the facilities went out of use. Concessionaire of Port Burgas repurposed a dock area into the first terminal for loading Panamax vessels. The existing facilities have been repurposed for grain handling and agreements have been reached with traders and the organizations in control of quality of loading/unloading operations. The terminal has been issued with a certificate as fit for grain handling.