German Ship Delivers 10,000 Tons of Ilmenite from Norway to the Occupied Crimea’s Titan Plant – a BSNews Investigation
Andrii Klymenko, Head of the Maidan of Foreign Affairs and Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies monitoring group, the BlackSeaNews editor-in-chief, Yalta-Kyiv
Every month ilmenite is delivered by sea to the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun to serve the sole buyer in the occupied peninsula – the Armyansk Titan plant in the north of Crimea, part of the corporate group that belongs to Dmytro Firtash.
In 2017 we registered several ilmenite supplying schemes circumventing the sanctions from the Ukrainian port Pivdennyi, from Brazil and the largest one - from the Turkish port of Samsun. In most cases, ilmenite was first delivered to the raids in the Kerch Strait (Roadstead 451 belonging to the Russian Port Kavkaz), then transshipped in the sea onto the Russian ships and later unloaded in the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun.
But the end of November 2017 saw new interesting developments.
On November 23, 2017, a German cargo ship HHL MISSISSIPPI (IMO: 9435765) arrived from the Romanian Constanta under the flag of Liberia to the roadstead of the Russian Port Kavkaz in the Kerch Strait (the same roadstead 451) and remained there until December 5, 2017.
Over that period, for at least three times, an old Russian cargo ship NEFTERUDOVOZ-2 (IMO: 8986884) approached it and the HHL MISSISSIPPI onboard cranes loaded ilmenite to the NEFTERUDOVOZ-2 holds. After that, the Russian ship delivered ilmenite to the Kerch port of Kamysh-Burun.
Vessel type: General Cargo
Build year: 2009
Class society: Germanischer Lloyd
Registered owner ZWEITE SCHIFFS GMBH & CO KG Care of Hansa Heavy Lift GmbH , Oberbaumbruecke 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. since 21/10/2011
Ship manager/Commercial manager HANSA HEAVY LIFT GMBH Oberbaumbruecke 1, 20457 Hamburg, Germany. since 25/06/2011
23.11.17 – arrived from Constanta to a Port Kavkaz roadstead with the ilmenite ore cargo for the Crimean Titant plant. Transshipped the ore onto the dry cargo ships for delivery to Kamysh-Burun. Left on 05.12.17.
Vessel type: Ore/oil Carrier
Gross tonnage: 2,616 tons
Build year: 1969
Class society: Russian River Register
Ship manager/Commercial manager YEYA SHIPPING LTD Office 311, ul Armavirskaya 45, Yeysk, Krasnodarskiy kray, 353680, Russia. since 27/05/2008
25.11.17 - Kamysh-Burun from roadstead, 2600 t ilmenite from HHL MISSISSIPPI (IMO: 9435765)
Having received information that HHL MISSISSIPPI carries ilmenite ore, the raw material for the titanium-based products, and knowing that the occupied Crimea had only one titanium dioxide producer – the Titan plant in Armyansk, we were a little surprised and decided to investigate further.
For starters, the HHL MISSISSIPPI is intended for other types of cargo. The Reputable, world-known German HANSA HEAVY LIFT GMBH that it belongs to specializes in the transportation of oversized heavy goods.
For example, in April 2013, we wrote about a similar vessel of the same company transporting a project 958 'Bison' air-cushioned landing craft (LCAC) built at the Feodosia Morye shipyard from Feodosia to China.
Moreover, Romania the ship arrived from to the Kerch Strait is not an industrial producer of the titanium raw materials. That is why we got interested in the ship’s call at Constanta, especially since HHL MISSISSIPPI had stayed there for a very short time - from 10:55 local time on November 20 to 01:00 on November 21, 2017.
From the photo made on November 21, 2017 in the port of Constanta, one can easily notice that the mooring where the HHL MISSISSIPPI moored is not intended for bulk cargoes. And really, in Constanta, the ship unloaded metal structures:
Turns out, on November 7, 2017, the ship took on the deck those metal constructions in the port of Ijmuiden (the Netherlands), and the following day, on November 8, left for Constanta.
The further investigation unraveled that:
On November 2, 2017, HHL MISSISSIPPI left the port of Bremen and on November 3 arrived at the small Norwegian port of Jøssingfjord, the site one of the largest in Norwegian and one of the largest in Western Europe titanium mines Tellnes. The mine is run by Titania, while the fjord is used as the company’s port.
It was there that between November 3-6, 2017, HHL MISSISSIPPI accepted a cargo of 10,000 tons of ilmenite ore for the occupied Crimea.
Thus, sadly, the reputable companies from Germany and Norway were involved in the illegal scheme of the export supplies to the occupied Crimea.
It’s the first time that Norway is caught on supplying ilmenite to the occupied peninsula. Earlier, similar schemes from the Ukrainian port Pivdennyi, Brazil and the largest one -- from the Turkish port Samsun – had been recorded. As a result, after being highlighted in various journalistic investigations, they attracted the attention of those countries state authorities and were stopped.
The joint monitoring group of the Black Sea Institute of Strategic Studies, the Maidan of Foreign Affairs and the BlackSeaNews is confident that after this publication, the appropriate conclusions will be made as well...
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The monitoring of the violations of international sanctions against Russia and the legal regime of the temporarily occupied territory of Crimea is supported by the European program initiative of the "Renaissance" International Fund. The views of the authors do not necessarily reflect the position of the position of the "Renaissance" International Fund.
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