Competition Council report: Constanța Port risks deadlock due to the severely degraded railway infrastructure and the lack of investments

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The volume of goods from the Port of Constanța has increased significantly in the last three years, but the supply, import and export of products and raw materials are affected by the heavily degraded railway infrastructure and the lack of investments, the Competition Council warns. The lack of immediate measures could block the activity of the Port of Constanța, the authority says.

Thus, the volume of goods from the Port of Constanța having origin or destination Republic of Moldova and Ukraine has increased by 823% and 144%, respectively, in the last three years, according to a study conducted by the National Railway Supervisory Council (CNSDF) and the Council of Naval Surveillance (CSDN), within the Competition Council.

Wood (+ 99%), equipment and machinery (+ 92%) and oilseeds (+ 81%) recorded the largest increases between January 2021 – March 2022, in transit through the Port of Constanța. At the opposite pole are non-ferrous ores, food and feed and iron ores.

Freight traffic in the Port of Constanta is, however, affected by the degraded and undersized railway infrastructure, the number of speed restrictions as well as the length of the degraded railway lines, managed by CFR SA, which has grown steadily in recent years. Moreover, between January 2019 and March 2022, no amounts were allocated for repairs and maintenance.

The Competition Council recommends increasing the financial allocations from the national budget for the repair and maintenance works of the railway lines within the Port of Constanța.

At the same time, the Council argues that it is necessary to modernize the railway lines in the area, including the electrification of the railway infrastructure in the port, taking into account the investment projects and development plans of port operators, which will increase the capacity to take over goods from the port. and will contribute to the development of multimodal transport and to the increase of the volumes of freight traffic by rail.

This is part of the European Commission’s strategy, which estimates that rail freight traffic will increase by 50% by 2030 and double by 2050 compared to 2015.

The development of an LNG terminal would be an investment of strategic importance for Romania given that there is no LNG terminal on the west coast of the Black Sea, while a specialized barge terminal would allow the safe berthing of over 200 barges simultaneously. and would significantly increase trade in cereals, fertilizers, oilseeds and solid mineral fuels.

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