MINSK – Belarus and Turkey are discussing the possibility of transporting freight along the Dnieper River, including the construction of a river port in the town of Nizhniye Zhary, Gomel Region. A delegation of Turkish experts is staying in Belarus on 8-9 August to discuss the project, representatives of the Embassy of Belarus in Turkey told BelTA.
The port in Nizhniye Zhary may become a major transit hub in the future, connecting the eastern and western parts of the new Silk Road from China to Europe, said the source. The project's implementation may give Belarus new opportunities for organizing merchandise export and import. It may improve the logistics of Belarusian freight, earn extra foreign currency for the state budget, create new jobs, and bolster the overall competitive ability of Belarusian products.
Three Turkish companies are interested in the project so far. Their top specialists are members of the Turkish delegation in Belarus.
While in Belarus members of the delegation are expected to meet with top officials of the Belarusian Transport and Communications Ministry and the Gomel Region administration. The delegation will visit the site of the future port in Nizhniye Zhary in order to clarify some technical aspects of the project.
The possibility of transporting freight along the Dnieper River has been repeatedly discussed at various levels during Belarusian-Turkish and Belarusian-Ukrainian talks. In autumn 2017 the governors of Gomel Region and Ukraine's Kherson Region and top executives of the Nikolayev-based company OOO SP Nibulon signed a trilateral memorandum of cooperation and partnership with a view to restoring shipping along the Dnieper River. Loading river-sea vessels with Belarusian cargoes for the sake of delivering them to Europe, Asia, and Africa via the Black Sea is the idea. Such vessels will not require freight transshipment in sea ports, thus greatly reducing the cost of delivery. A deep-water port is supposed to be built near the village of Nizhniye Zhary, Bragin District, Gomel Region as part of the project. The site is located virtually at the Belarusian-Ukrainian border. Part of the Dnieper River between the port and the Kiev water reservoir will have to be deepened as part of the project.