The season for dredging operations has started at the Volga-Caspian seaway canal.
As Construction.ru was informed by the press-service of the Astrakhan governor, the operations are aimed at solving problems with transporting large-sized objects being built at the Astrakhan dockyards to shelf oil-fields. “We are seriously worried about the canal’s condition. Last year we raised the problem with the government. Decisions were made. And large-scale works will affect both operations volumes and financial resources”, governor Alexander Zhilkin said during the recent visit of Vaghit Alekperov, JSC “LUKOIL” president, to the region to inspect how the orders for the company’s Caspian project are being fulfilled. The weather prevented them from carrying out the planned dredging operations – the first week of April was stormy at the Caspian seacoast – so they were started a bit later.
However, the volumes will be restored owing to the advanced equipment used. A highly productive dredge hopper (hydraulic excavator) from the Astrakhan departments of “Rosmorport” and “Artemiy Volynsky” and three dredge hoppers from the contractors “Bakhtemir”, “Caspiy” and “Engineer Filkov”, are engaged in the dredging operations. The works are being carried out on sections from the 138th to the 155th kilometers of the eastern part of the canal.
“This year we plan to dig out 5.4 mln m3 of silt from the bottom of the canal. Last year 2.5 mln m3 was extracted with the use of 2 pieces of equipment, with two more added later”, said the deputy director of the capital construction department of the Astrakan department of “Rosmorport”, Ivan Archakov. “This year we shall use 7 units”.
The Astrakhan regional government is monitoring the situation with the Volgo-Caspian Canal dredging. “Three times a week we check the data and cooperate with the necessary people all day”, said Sergei Krzhanovsky, the Minister of Industry, Transportation and Natural Resources. “Our aim is to provide a guaranteed depth of the canal for unhampered boat traffic and to take out, to the Caspian Sea, large floating production facilities that are being built at Astrakhan dockyards.
Future plans for both shipbuilding development and the development of a special economic zone are afoot. This year we have achieved an increase in dredging volumes and acquired additional equipment. We have a good work rhythm”.
According to governor Alexander Zhilkin, it is not only oil-field development that depends on the technical condition of the Volga-Caspian seaway canal but also the possibility of the implementation of a number of economic and geopolitical state interests on the Caspian sea, including the development of boat traffic, fish resources, and a valuable fish spawning run.
The sea transport passing through the canal provides for economic cooperation between Russia and the countries bordering the Caspian, and also for the possibility of their entering the RF’s and certain Eastern Europe countries’ inland waterway systems.