Moldova considering building temporary docks on Prut River to facilitate grain transit

Moldova intends to build at least three temporary docks on the Prut River, a tributary to the Danube that flows along the border with Romania, to increase the volume of goods transported by sea. During the high-level meeting in Galați dedicated to grain exports, including the transit of Ukrainian grain through Moldova, Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry Vladimir Bolea stated that Moldova needs funds to modernize its poor infrastructure, Radio Europa Liberă reported.

“These temporary docks will make life much easier for our farmers, because it’s one thing when you load 1,500 tonnes on a ship and it’s quite another when you transport the same amount of 1,500, but 22 tonnes at a time. You can imagine how many trucks, how many expenses, how many queues in customs will be reduced only with naval transport”, Vladimir Bolea told Europa Liberă.

He says that the cost difference between land and sea transport would be “unreal”. “For naval transport, we are talking about 13 euros per tonne. Now with the threats of the war and the threats at the port of Reni, it can be a cost of 15 to 20 euros per tonne. Meanwhile, for land transport the cost is 45, 50, 60 euros a tonne”, says the minister.

In addition to the construction of docks, Chisinau is looking for money to renovate its railways, also to facilitate the transportation and transit of grain, including Ukrainian one.

To achieve this, Moldova would like to attract 3 million dollars from the Solidarity Corridors program to repair the Cahul-Giurgiulești railway section. Traffic on this section was suspended after a portion of about 300 meters broke. As a result, agricultural haulers have to travel an extra distance, which means higher costs.

In a press conference on Friday in Galati, Vladimir Bolea emphasized that Moldova does ensure the transit of agricultural products from Ukraine to the EU, while at the same time taking into account the interests of Moldovan farmers and the fact that we are a grain producing and exporting country.

After Russia withdrew from the Black Sea Grain Export Initiative and launched missile attacks on Ukrainian port and agricultural infrastructure, Ukraine together with its Western partners is looking for alternative solutions and routes to ensure grain transport and transit.

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