RZD brought a group of Russian journalists and foreign correspondents from Moscow to St Petersburg by Sapsan high speed train and organised a special media visit to the Ust-Luga port the day before the conference.
The multipurpose Ust-Luga sea merchant port is under construction in the Luga Bay of the Baltic Sea, 100 km from St Petersburg, and practically on the border of the Russian Federation and the European Union. The port has a capacity of up to 120 million tonnes of various cargos per year. The Ust-Luga port blends in with the transport network of the northwest region of Russia that plays a significant role in the organisation of transit shipments within the frame of European transport infrastructure.
A significant advantage of the new port is the fact that the cargo flow now by-passes the extremely congested transport hub of Saint Petersburg. With the direct involvement of the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation and “Russian railways” JSC, work is already underway to reconstruct external access to the port, motorways and railway tracks connecting Ust-Luga port with major traffic arteries.
The new port is linked to the railway network via the Veymarn–Kotly–Ust-Luga line. To develop rail links to the Ust-Luga port, upgrading is planned on the Mga–Gatchina– Veymarn–Ust-Luga line. The goal of the rail project is to provide rail freight access to tracks that connect to the Ust-Luga port, to meet the increasing volumes of the transport of goods that the construction work of the port generates: 36 million tonnes in 2010, 104 million tonnes in 2015, and 117 million tonnes in 2020.
The cost of the project is around 80 billion rubles (2 billion Euros) with, 21 billion rubles having being spent since the start of the project. Fixed assets worth 12.2 billion rubles have been built. The capacity of the line is being increased through 18 separate projects coordinated within the time frame to boost the capacity of ports on the Finnish Gulf.