The State Property Fund (SPF) is preparing for privatization the commercial seaport Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky, which could become the second major port infrastructure facility sold at the ProZorro site since the start of a full-scale Russian invasion, the SPF website reported.
"During a working trip to Odesa region, I checked the current state of affairs of the Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky Commercial Sea Port. The SPF will soon announce the start of its privatization process," Dmytro Klimenkov, First Deputy Head of the SPF, wrote on his Facebook page.
According to him, during his visit to the facility, he got acquainted with the inventory of the enterprise, registration of property, preparation of real estate objects and technical documentation necessary for announcing an auction. "Our task is to organize and hold the auction as efficiently and transparently as possible," the representative of the Fund said.
The Fund clarified that from April 1, 2022, the Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky port is used as a logistics center for ports on the Danube River. It receives goods on cars and sends them further in wagons. Since May, the enterprise has started shipping grain, transshipment of iron ore pellets and transshipment of metal products. In six months of work after the resumption of activities, the handling of goods increased 100 times compared to 2021. The port received more than 10,000 trucks and shipped 4,000 wagons by rail, which significantly eased the load on the road infrastructure to the ports of Izmail and Reni. All products were sent for export.
Before the war, the company was unprofitable. "The resumption of full-fledged activity (of the port) is possible only with the attraction of significant investments, since the enterprise was unprofitable even before the full-scale invasion, had wage debts to the budgets of various levels," the SPF said.
Over 11 months of 2022, wage arrears decreased from UAH 20.1 million to UAH 11.8 million.
As part of preparations for privatization, the Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky port won the courts by terminating lease agreements for special equipment with private tenants ahead of schedule. The state-owned enterprise was returned 10 units of special equipment that had been illegally leased since 2019. The company expects to return 20 units of special equipment, subject to the receipt of appropriate court decisions.
Like Ust-Dunaisk and Skadovsk, the Bilhorod-Dnistrovsky port was included in the list of objects subject to privatization in mid-2021. It was tentatively planned to sell it before April 2022, but the competition was not held.