Shareholders of Romanian port operator Comvex have agreed to invest €52M to convert berth 80 of Constanta Port into a grains terminal with a storage capacity of 200,000 tonnes, bne IntelliNews reported on 12 July.

Comvex operates the largest bulk raw material handling terminal in the Black Sea area, covering 700,386m2 in Constanta Port. It specialises in handling, storing and transhipping dry bulk minerals such as iron ore, coal, coke and bauxite but has recently focused on grain as it faces weaker demand for handling minerals.

Manager Viorel Panait said the new terminal would not compete with existing grain terminals in Constanta Port but would target extra-large ships of 120,000-140,000dwt due to the 18.5m depth of the water, adding that the company’s terminals were linked to the Danube river, to the railway network and to the Constanta-Bucharest motorway.

Constanta Port plays a key role in the export of grains and oilseeds from Romania, Bulgaria and the Black Sea region.

Dutch agribusiness trader Nidera has been using Constanta to export grains and oilseeds for several years and in December 2014, fully acquired the USA/USC terminal at the port, with a capacity of 250,000 tonnes.

The Romanian subsidiary of agribusiness giant Cargill also completed a €15M investment with local logistics operator Transport Trade Services in 2014 to increase the capacity of its Canopus Star grain terminal at the port to 110,000 tonnes.

According to bne IntelliNews, the volume of grain exported through Constanta Port is estimated at 7.5M tonnes for the marketing year that ended in June, accounting for 85% of Romania’s grain exports for the period.

The USDA Global Agricultural Information Network (GAIN) April report on Romania said that Romania’s oilseed production for 2016/17 was expected to exceed 3.5M tonnes, a 16% increase compared to the previous year, while oilseed exports were expected to climb 18%.

Image credit: Vassil Vassilev, Oliva JSC, Bulgaria