Transportation by national water transport, river fleet state and capability of new shipbuilding including for Siberian rivers
On 20.03.2014 All-Russian scientific-practical conference "10 years of forward moving" took place at Moscow. The conference was dedicated to tenth anniversary of Federal Agency of Marine and River Transport.
Marine Engineering Bureau general director, S. Dr, prof. Gennadiy Egorov presented report "Transportation by national water transport, river fleet state and capability of new shipbuilding including for Siberian rivers" at session "River transport".
Results of actual last years building of cargo and passengers vessels of river and sea-river sailing regions were given in the report. Also essential interrelation between new projects and neediness of business community and regions were shown in the report (e.g. "super fat" tankers, cruise passengers vessels of "Volgo-Balt Max" and "Volgo-Don Max" classes, combined platform tanker for transportation of oil and dry cargoes, tankers and dry cargo vessels of "Lena Max" class, small draught barge-tug trains for Siberian rivers, other new concepts) with accounting of real age structure and moral ageing of existence fleet.
1. Total capacity of cargoes transportation by inland water transport was 142.1 million tons in 2012 (12.2% increasing comparing to 2011) and 136.9 million tons in 2013. Alternations of transportation capacities of mixed river-sea going vessels and ones for "northern" good's delivery since 1990 are shown in the table 1.
Total capacity of cargoes transportation by mixed river-sea going vessels and ones for "northern" good's delivery
Years Export-import Cargo delivery to
transportation, mill. tons Far North, million tons
1995 24,1 20,4
1996 24,5 14,5
1997 23,5 15,0
1998 19,0 12,2
1999 18,1 12,4
2000 20,4 14,2
2001 25,4 15,2
2002 29,3 13,3
2004 34,8 11,6
2005 35,1 12,0
2006 22,3 13,7
2007 21,8 23,1
2008 12,4 24,8
2009 15,6 16,3
2010 17,0 18,0
2011 18,0 19,4
2012 29,5 20,0
2013 31,2 17,7
During 14 years of the new century (for the 1st of January of 2014) about 260 cargo mixed river-sea going vessels were built.
Vessels were built by efforts of leading private shipowners such as "Volzhsk Shipping Co.", "North Western Shipping Co.", "Palmali Group" and "Moscow River Shipping Co.". However, there was said about mixed sea-river going vessels because purely river vessels have the payback period of 20-25 years (due to legislation effected until the last year), which is not acceptable to a private investor. It may be marked that total capacity of transported cargo is significant for all river-sea vessels of all types (29.5 million tons in 2012, more than 28 million tons in 2013.
The vessels of "Volga-Don Max" class, which are responsible for dimensions of the Volga-Don Shipping Canal and intended for replacing of the famous soviet series "Volgoneft" and "Volga-Dons" were and are the most demanded. "Volga-Don Max" class vessels are universal for work at European part of Russian inland waterways due to their dimensions. For information, record cargo capacity since 1983 of 12.7 million tons was transported through VDC in 2013.
Number of such vessels was 145 units or 56% of the total number of newly built cargo vessels. Moreover Russian shipyards provided building of 107 cargo vessels and tankers of this class (74%), 16 ones were built by Turkish shipyards, 14 ones were built by Ukrainian shipyards and 8 ones were built by Chinese shipyards.
At the other segments of the cargo fleet 80 ships (71%) were built in Russia, 16 ones were built in Turkey, 17 ones were built in China and Vietnam.
Mostly it was talked about a new generation of vessels, as they were built basing on projects developed after the 2000, as follows: 154 vessels were built due to Marine Engineering Bureau projects, 54 vessels were built due to projects of Volga-Caspian Bureau ("Krasnoe Sormovo" bureau), and 25 vessels were built due to projects of "Vympel" Bureau.
2. This moment process of building new cargo vessels for European part of Russian inland waterways commences; these vessels have enhanced river function:
• "estuary" river dry cargo vessels of "Volga-Don Max" class of RSD44 project with lowered air draught, allowing to pass under the bridges of the Neva River, under the Rostov-on-Don railway bridge without drawing and also through Moscow River (10 vessels are under operation yet);
• "super fat" mixed river-sea going RST27 tankers of "Volga-Don Max" class project with an increased river capacity (27 vessels are built yet);
• river combined platform tankers RST54 project based on "super fat" contours of RST27 project; these vessel are intended for transportation of cargo that doesn't suffer from wetting (e.g. gravel, rolled metal, "heavy" containers, cars, etc.) towards one direction and oil products towards back direction (5 vessels are under construction now, total 20 vessels order is awaiting).
The character feature of new concepts are "expanding" narrow places of inland water transport by using new technical decisions. Saying other words, transportation ability is increased by maximal usage of actual way characteristics (maximal available vessel's length and breadth), and mainly by usage extremely fat hull contours, that have never used before in world's practice. And at least, decreasing of air draught allows to avoid running time loss for waiting of bridges drawing in St.-Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don and allows to work through Moscow River till the Yuzhniy port. Usage of RST54 combined vessels provides both directions cargo transportation (oil cargoes towards one direction and dry cargoes towards back direction); that should allow to decrease highways rate due to re-forwarding some cargoes from road to water transportation. Such re-forwarded cargoes include passenger cars, that usually bring from St.-Petersburg to central Russia by car transportation trucks and heavy containers that are prohibited for car trains transportation due to unallowable road loads.
3. Quite different situation was formed in the Siberian and at the North of the European part of Russia. As example lets describe situation with OJSE United Lena River Shipping Company that is lead transport company at North-East of Russia. This company provides cargoes transportation to Sakha Republic (Yakutia) and cargoes delivery to the Arctic rivers' mouth settlements.
It is clear from available information concerning cargoes nomenclature and transportation dynamics that social significant (energy) cargoes such as oil products and coal occupy 57% of total transportation. Weight characteristics of these cargoes transportation are constant; total capacity is about 2 million tons.
Waterways of Lena basin have various duration of the navigating and operational periods at different parts of rivers, various operational conditions for using fleet on these waterways (small draught vessels for the lateral and small rivers, mixed river-sea going vessels for providing cargoes delivery to the Arctic rivers' settlements) demands creation and maintenance of corresponding dimensions of a running way for providing free sailing through fairway and bar areas of Yana and Indigirka Rivers in order ensure cargoes delivery during short-term Arctic navigation.
Up-to-date concept of "northern delivery" vessel was introduced in the report. This vessel should be a mixed river-sea going vessel fully using dimensions of Lena River fairway from Osetrovo port till Tixi port (including season draughts alternation from 2.00 till 3.50 m). Also such vessel should have maximal (from running ability point of view) block coefficient, enhanced cargo capacity keeping available minimal vessel's depth, enhanced manoeuvrability in the constrained conditions and shallow water due to full-turn rudder propeller usage; reasonable operational reliability of hull constructions with simultaneously optimal steel intensity.
It is supposed to design dry cargo vessels and tankers using single base with same hull dimensions and contours and propulsion unit.
Nomenclature of "north delivery" cargoes includes liquid and dry cargoes. Liquid cargoes include diesel oil, kerosene, gas condensate (as fuel oil), crude oil, gasoline and methanol; as a rule these cargoes have flash point less or about 60?C. Dry cargoes include black coal, round timber, lumber, building materials, containers, machinery, equipment, pipes.
Concept of the mixed "Lena Max" vessel was designed on the basis of analyze of actual way characteristics.
5. It is economically unreasonably to design mixed river-sea going vessel for work at draughts less than 2.0 m; that is why tug-barge trains were designed for small draught conditions of Eastern regions. These tug-barge trains with UDR-100 tractive connection are of RRR O 2,0 (Ice 20) class and have working draughts 1.40 - 1.80 m; they are, as follows:
• oil tanker tug-barge train that allows to push barges at river conditions and is intended for transportation of crude oil and light petroleum products including ones with flash-point less than 60°C;
• dry cargo tug-barge train that allows to push barges at river conditions and is intended for transportation of general and dry bulk cargoes including coal, TEU and FEU containers, large-sized cargoes.
6. Actual speed of fleet renovation doesn't compensate speed of age vessels withdrawing (see table 2). For example, on the 1st of January, 2014 mean age of base river tankers of "Volgoneft" type tankers (131 units) was of 45.2 years for the initial 558/550 prj. (21 vessels) and 38.5 years for 1577/550A prj. (110 vessels). From this amount 23 vessels has mark "non-suitable".
Dynamic of quantity and mean age for river vessels
Date Vessels' No. Mean age
01.01.1980 48000 14,9
01.01.1990 44654 18,94
01.01.1994 41308 22,88
01.01.1996 37920 23,12
01.01.2000 34034 23,95
01.01.2001 32334 24,46
01.01.2002 30325 24,72
01.01.2003 29768 25,58
01.01.2004 29657 24,72
01.01.2005 29152 25,58
01.01.2006 28776 27,24
01.01.2007 28336 28,30
01.01.2008 28215 29,20
01.01.2009 26150 29,80
01.01.2010 25818 30,60
01.01.2011 25663 31,52
01.01.2012 23851 32,43
7. Change of approaches to fleet building problem was outlined at the end of the first decade of XXI century when it became clear that transport river and the river-sea vessels, constructed in 70s-80s years of previous century, and also the auxiliary fleet that ensures travelling conditions on the river, will exhaust their resources during the nearest 5-10 years.
The main Russian shipyards which provided building of mixed river-sea going fleet (pure river vessels practically were not built till 2010) were the Nizhniy Novgorod shipyard "Krasnoe Sormovo" ( 87 vessels), Navashino "Oks Shipyard" ( 37 vessels), Petrozavodsk "Onega Shipyard" (18 Vessels), Volgograd Shipyard (34 vessels), Kherson Shipyard (34 vessels) and Nikolaev shipyard "Ocean" (9 courts vessels).
1. New orders are vitally significant for almost all river shipyards.
2. The mixed river-sea going vessels (dry cargo type and tankers) which are intended to change "Volgo-Don" and "Volgo-Neft" type ones at the lines that are oriented to transport raw resources from Russian river ports to transhipment complexes at ports in Finnish Gulf and Kerch Straits are the most demanded. Thus these new vessels should quality differ from existence vessels (which ideology was created in 50-s of former century) by increased capacity, ecology safety and reliability.
3. The character feature of new concepts are "expanding" narrow places of inland water transport by using new technical decisions.
3.1 Transportation ability is increased by maximal usage of actual way characteristics (maximal available vessel's length and breadth), and mainly by usage extremely fat hull contours, that have never used before in world's practice. These decisions are relevant either for European part of inland waterways, and for Eastern inland waterways of Russia.
3.2 Decreasing of air draught allows to avoid running time loss for waiting of bridges drawing in St.-Petersburg and Rostov-on-Don and allows to work through Moscow River till the Yuzhniy port.
3.3 Usage of combined vessels provides both directions cargo transportation (oil cargoes towards one direction and dry cargoes towards back direction); that should allow to decrease highways rate due to re-forwarding some cargoes from road to water transportation. Such re-forwarded cargoes include passenger cars, that usually bring from St.-Petersburg to central Russia by car transportation trucks and heavy containers that are prohibited for car trains transportation due to unallowable road loads.
4. Shifting to qualitatively new level of the water transportation organization is needed; it can be reached by wide usage of tug-barge trains, as one can learn from the experience of high developed USA water transport. Tug-barge trains may be of river type (equipped by native tractive connections O-200, UDR-100, etc.) or marine type (equipped by Japanese, Finnish or American tractive connections). One must clearly understand that creation of tug-barge train project should not complete the process. Effective tug-barge train operation demands significant changes of transportation organization (providing so-called "rotator", when one pusher tug will work with 2-3 barges). Small draught tug-barge train usage is especially interesting at Eastern water ways where appreciable deterioration of travelling conditions is observed last years.