Belarus seeking investors for merchant marine development

Belarus is in talks over attracting investors from Spain and Portugal for the development of a merchant marine fleet, announced Transport and Communications Minister of Belarus Ivan Shcherbo.

“The negotiations are underway with a range of countries with access to sea. We did not limit it to Lithuania and Latvia only; we started negotiations with Spain and Portugal as well as African and Turkish investors,” the minister said.

In his words, last year the first navigation company, Belmorflot, was set up in Belarus. Belmorflot transports freight with the use of rented sea-craft. The company plans to purchase them in the near future. “The issue of producing such vessels in the country is high on the agenda. We will not do here without foreign investors as it is a very expensive product. The cost of a marine vessel might vary from $25 to $50 million depending on tonnage,” Ivan Shcherbo said. 

Such production and the development of the Belarusian merchant marine are envisaged in the corresponding draft decree which is currently worked out by the Transport Ministry.

Zepter Group was the major investor in the Belmorflot project, with a 70% stake in the company. Belmorflot’s major task is the use of sea-craft rented and manned with Belarusian crews. Belmorflot’s vessel made its first trip to Brazil. On the whole, Zepter Group plans to invest $100 million in the company and purchase 7 sea vessels within the next five years.

According to