Kernel acquires edible oils trans-shipment terminal

Ukrainian agribusiness Kernel Holding has completed its purchase of OilExportTerminal, an edible oils trans-shipment terminal in the port of Pivdennyi in the Odessa region of the Black Sea, World Grain reported the company as saying.

According to the company’s second quarter fiscal year 2023 operations update, the US$19.8M transaction was completed in December, the 30 January report said.

In addition to truck, rail and ship loading capabilities, the terminal accepts and stores up to 49,404 tonnes of edible oils such as rapeseed, soyabeans and sunflower.

Kernel CEO Yevgen Osypov said the terminal was strategically important for the company as oil trans-shipment remained unavailable at the Mykolaiv terminals on the Black Sea following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on 24 February.

Three Black Sea ports (Odessa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi) reopened under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey that was signed on 22 July by Russia and Ukraine.

Although Mykolaiv port accounted for about half of total oil trans-shipment volumes in Ukraine in the 2019-2022 marketing years, it was not covered by the Black Sea Grain Initiative, the company said on 26 January.

Kernel owns eight oilseed processing plants in Ukraine – the world’s largest supplier of sunflower oil – with a total capacity to process 3.5M tonnes/year of sunflowerseeds, the report said.

“Mykolaiv is of historical importance in this regard,” Osypov said. “The full-scale war caused the port and terminals to shut down; they are not included in the Grain Corridor. That’s why we are using OilExporTerminal in Pivdennyi to cover the temporary losses.”

In addition to storage, Kernel production director Yuriy Pugach said the existing facilities were divided into four groups to discharge oils from road and rail transport, with a project to discharge oil from tank containers on railway platforms also underway.

The maximum unloading capacity at the terminal is 100 tank trucks/day with a total volume of 2,500 tonnes and 24 rail tank trucks with a total volume of 1,440 tonnes. The maximum vessel loading speed is 500 tonnes/hour.

According to its website, Kernel is the world’s leading and Ukraine’s largest producer and exporter of sunflower oil, and a major supplier of agricultural products from the Black Sea region to international markets. The company exports agricultural products to more than 80 countries.