London — The Russian port of Taman on the Black Sea will not reduce its capacity for thermal coal, an official spokesmanfor port operator Oteko told S&P Global Platts Thursday.
Industry reports had suggested recently that the terminal had decided to reduce its coal capacity to 15 millionmt/year, from an expected 50 million mt, but the spokesman said the port was well on its way to reaching capacity byJune 2020.
The spokesman added that the port's coal capacity would be 2-2.5 million mt/month in "early 2020", and 4-4.5 million mt/month by mid-year.
The port has previously experienced delays, with high throughput costs keeping trading activity quiet. Sources said that high local charges made the port less appealing for traders.
Despite this, the terminal had successfully loaded two Panamaxes of thermal coal earlier this year, although loading of larger Capesize vessels has not yet been reached.
As well as coal, the spokesman said the port will "provide the biggest storage in the world of sulfur and fertilizer."
Russian sea ports handled 147.3 million mt of coal transshipment in the first 10 months of 2019, up 8.9% from the year-ago period, according to a statement from the Russian Sea Trade Ports association earlier this week.
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