Liubov V. Terenteva

Admiral Nevelskoy Maritime State University, Vladivostok

Abstract: Transshipment of export coal in seaports of Primorsky Territory poses environmental problems if coal terminals are located on general-purpose berths within the city boundaries. To meet the growing demand for coal in Asian markets, a number of projects to build new coal terminals and increase the throughput capacity of the existing ones have appeared recently. The capacity reserves of the planned coal terminals offer opportunities for eliminating environmental problems. It is necessary to redirect the cargo flows of coal transshipment berths located within the urban boundaries in Primorye to highly efficient specialized coal terminals, both existing or newly built. The vacated berths and terminals after modernization can be used for transshipment of ‘clean’ cargoes

Keywords: seaport, coal terminal, capacity, ecology, diversification


Russia is one of the world’s largest exporters of coal, mostly by sea. The demand for coal is growing. The main consumers of Russian coal are the countries of the Asia-Pacific region – China, South Korea, Japan. The increase in demand creates the prerequisites for increasing the volume of Russian coal production and shipping by sea. According to Rosstat reports, the amount of coal shipped through Russian seaports is increasing annually, and more than 98% of this volume is export coal (Table 1) [1].

Table 1  Coal transshipped in Russian seaports, mil. tons

Export coal is shipped mainly via the ports of the Baltic and Far East basins. The dynamics of coal transshipment via the ports of various basins is presented in Table 2 [2].

Table 2 Dynamics of coal transshipment through the ports of various sea basins, % of the total volume

Due to rising prices and growing demand for coal in the Asian market, the volume of export coal transshipped through the ports of the Far East Basin and Primorsky Region in particular, is increasing every year, and this trend will continue. In accordance with the “Strategy and Program for the Development of the Coal Industry for the Period up to 2035”, the Ministry of Energy of the Russian Federation plans to double the export of coal, which should amount to 392 million tons [3]. The number of terminals that process export coal is also increasing, especially in the Far East and Primorsky Territory. Projects to increase the throughput capacity of existing high-performance coal terminals and build new specialized transshipment facilities for transshipment of export coal are underway. At the same time, special attention is directed to the “Eastern Polygon” – the territories of the Far East and Primorye.

When transshipping coal, environmental problems arise related to environmental protection, the negative impact of coal dust on the health of residents of adjacent territories, if the terminal is located within the urban boundaries.

The purpose of this article is to draw attention to the need to stop the transshipment of coal at sea terminals located within the boundaries of the port cities in Primorsky Region. This is especially true now, when increased attention is being paid to the comprehensive development of the Far East and the Primorsky Region.

         1. Coal terminals in the Far East and Primorye

Various companies are engaged in the coal mining industry in Russia: “Siberian Coal Energy Company” (SUEK), “Kuzbassrazrezugol” (KRU), “SDS-Coal”, “Mechel-Mining”, “EVRAZ Group”, “Russian Coal”, “Vostsibugol Company”, “Kuzbass Fuel Company”, “Sibuglemet”, “Vorkutaugol” [4]. The main share falls on SUEK, which produces over 100 million tons of coal per year. Many coal-mining companies have their own terminals for transshipment of export coal. Information about the largest coal terminals in the Far Eastern basin and the volume of coal transshipment through the terminals in million tons is given in the Table 3.

Table 3  Main coal terminals in the Far Eastern basin (coal transshipment volume, mil.t)

In addition, export coal in various volumes is processed at other coal terminals and port berths in Primorye. The following stevedoring companies are among them: “Maly Port” and ” Astafiev Terminal” (Nakhodka), “Vostochno-Uralsky Terminal” (Vostochny), recently built “Port Vera” near Vladivostok as well as several port terminals in Vladivostok City. Coal terminals and berths differ in equipment and the type of handling equipment used and the technologies utilized. Terminals with capital specialization use high-performance handling equipment: car dumpers, systems of conveyors and transfer stations, stacker-reclaimers, shiploaders (“Daltransugol”, Vostochny Port). Terminals with universal mechanization schemes use gantry cranes and clamshell technology when loading ships, cranes and manipulators when unloading wagons, bulldozers at warehouse operations (Nakhodka Commercial Sea Port, “Maly Port”). Some ports have modernized or replaced equipment on the cargo fronts to increase throughput and use a mixed technology, in which coal is unloaded from rail cars by wagon dumpers, ships are loaded by cranes using grabs. Modern coal terminals with capital specialization are designed to handle ships with a deadweight of 160,000+ tons. The technology of coal transshipment and the class of ships handled affect the amount of cargo turnover, which for a terminal with capital specialization reaches more than 20 million tons per year. The operation of high-performance terminals is more profitable and promising. Such specialized terminals are usually located at considerable distances from settlements.

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