On December 20, Riga Freeport Authority approved of the budget for 2017 in accordance with goals listed in Development program 2009-2018. Planning the next year’s budget revenue section, participants of the meeting took into account the cautious cargo turnover outlook, which was based on cargo turnover plans submitted by stevedore companies.
It is predicted that Russia will continue re-orienting its energy resources to its own port in 2017, reducing the presence of its cargoes at Riga port. With that, next year’s coal turnover is expected to be 18-19%. Oil product turnover is expected to drop 20-21%. Container cargo turnover is expected to experience a slight increase of 2-3%. Riga Freeport’s total cargo turnover for 2017 is predicted at 32.6-32.9 million tons, up by 8% YoY. The largest portion of the budget – revenue from port fees is planned to have a 3.9% reduction YoY. Cargo turnover decline is aimed at being partially compensated with Tallink line activities, which will provide everyday transport services in 2017. For Riga Freeport this means approximately 180 more ships in 2017 and more income from port fees.
“We carefully follow and analyze developments in our neighboring countries, China, Kazakhstan and other countries. Next year’s budget was developed to be careful, pragmatic and balanced. It is clear that coal and oil product transit will continue to decline next year. We plan there will be an increase in the number of container cargoes and passenger transports in 2017. Our goal for the next year is to retain stable positions among Baltic ports and continue launched investment programs to secure multi-functional operations at Riga Freeport”, Riga Freeport Authority chairman Andris Ameriks said.
EUR 19.48 million from the 2017 budget are planned to be used for the realization of the investment program, commencement and continuation of projects aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of Riga Freeport in an international environment. The main investment priorities for 2017 are projects for the development of additional infrastructure on Krievu Island (EUR 8.23 million) and deepening of the canal at Riga port (EUR 6 million). Major investments are also planned for projects regarding the reconstruction of FG dam, coastal reinforcement in Sarkandaugava and others. (BNN/Business World Magazine)