Port Kolomna is engaged in cargo transportation by inland water transport. It is among the ten largest shipping companies operating in Russia with the market share of over 4%. General Director Vladimir Alekseyev tells IAA PortNews correspondent about the company’s production facilities.
“We are currently at the launching ramp, one of our newest facilities, built in modern times. It took me two months to design it. Actually, I had to study soil mechanics as the load is very high, thousands of tonnes", told the head of the company.
The ramp is designed for vessels of up to 2,000 tonnes and up to 115 meters long. There is a plan to add one more rail allowing it for lifting vessels of up to 125 meters.
It is not the best site for construction, woody and swampy. According to Vladimir Alekseyev, a dry method was used for construction with 2,000 cbm of water pumped every our. In case of power or pump failure, a 40-50-tonne excavator submerged in a couple of hours.
"From 2007, HES levelling survey is conducted annually with a millimeter accuracy. The foundation is good here – concrete in the dry state", says Vladimir Alekseyev.
The company operates its own fleet numbering almost 150 units. Almost all ships have either underwent modernization or built by the company.
“For example, we are currently building a ship of mixed river/sea class of 5,000 dwt. When the hull was completed we had to suspend the construction as we ran out of resources due to a sharp increase of metal prices", tells the General Director of Port Kolomna.
Retrofitting of a ship for the Volga-Baltic is underway nearby. The “M” class ship will have a deadweight of 3,500 tonnes. The ship is expected to leave Kolomna in a month or a month and a half.
“We usually retrofit old ships in two phases. Over the first year we replace everything in an engine-room: engines, diesel generators, pipes, etc. The second year is for a hull. So, a ship with new equipment can operate in summer and we commence hull works in winter", explained the speaker.
From designing to operation
Hot galvanizing is used to manufacture pipes for seagoing ships. According to Vladimir Alekseyev, there are no alternatives for the sea. The company has an in-house design bureau thus ensuring a complete cycle from designing to construction and operation.
There are orders from other clients for bucket dredgers and other ships. A ship of 1,700 in capacity can be upgraded to carry 3,500 tonnes with its new hull, increased depth and enhanced RRR class.
Bunkering barges can undergo modernization as well. – There is a proven scheme. They are increased in length and their capacity is increased from 1,000 tonnes to 1,500-1,600 tonnes. Flat top barges of 1,000 tonnes can be turned into “O” class barges of 1,800 tonnes after they are made 2 meters wider and 18 meters longer. Metal consumption of such works is about 60 tonnes but the operation brings no additional expenses while raising the revenues by half, - says Vladimir Alekseyev.
One more ship nearby is the first project with a shape featuring an angle of 45 degrees. According to a computer modelling, such a shape allows for speed increase by 1 km/h as compared with a conventional shape.
Focus on development
“Here in Kolomna, we have our main shipbuilding and ship repair base. We also have a plant in Kasimov. In fact, we are almost alone on the Oka, up to Moscow, to be engaged in shipping, shipbuilding and ship repair”, tells Vladimir Alekseyev.
The company carries 4.5-5 million tonnes per year. The cargo mix is gradually changing with less sand and gravel being carried now.
The company is developing all the time. For example, there is a plan to lay the track for two portal cranes, Albatros and Kirovets.
Last year the company built and delivered a multi-bucket dredger for Moscow Canal. According to the General Director of Port Kolomna nobody had built such ships in Russia for over 30 years.