Government approves a new development concept of Danube

The Government has approved a new concept of development of Ukrainian Danube for 2014–2017 years, Context-Prichernomorie correspondent reports.

The press service of the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade of Ukraine noted yesterday, 25 November.

The purpose of the programme is to ensure the self-reliant and sustainable development of the region. The programme also aims to create conditions for further socio-economic development of the Ukrainian Danube and more efficient use of domestic natural resources in the region, and favourable investment climate. Also important are mechanisms of solving the socio-economic problems, while accounting for interests and needs of regional inhabitants described in the document.

Government experts say the approximate funding of the programme will amount to 9.1 billion UAH, including 6.6 billion UAH from the state budget, 1.75 billion UAH from local budgets, and 2.2 billion UAH from other sources.

Among main issues to be addressed under the programme, the experts note improving of water and land transport sectors, development of energy and gas-supply system, and provision of water supply and drainage. Besides, the document sets a number of actions which improved ecological security in the region and meeting the needs of people for high-quality education and health services.

In terms of improving the maritime and transport infrastructure, the document envisions implementation of a project to dredge a deepwater navigable channel on the Danube. There is also a plan to build the ferry complexes (for development of new river routes between Romania and Ukraine) and upgrade the railway infrastructure at Ismail-Odesa route.

To develop the power and gas supply, the program plans a construction of renewable energy facilities along with renewal of power lines and substations, as well as construction of main and subsea gas lines.

Problematic issues of water supply and drainage shall be addressed through modernization of water-supply systems, continued construction of Kilia, Tatarbunar, and Suvorov water lines, and installation of new/renovated of old drainage systems.

In the field of environmental safety, the programme concept envisions introduction of new technological systems for Danube surface water monitoring, reconstruction of hydro-technical facilities, rehabilitation of areas contaminated by pesticides, and disposal of toxic herbicides.

According to experts and developers of the programme, its implementation will let Ukraine enhance its status of transit maritime country and increase the investment attractiveness of the region. In particular, according to experts, annual scope of capital investment will grow by 10-15%, scope of cargo handling at ports of Ukrainian Danube ― by 20-25%, and total level of freight traffic will grow by at least 25%. However, the main thing is that full implementation of the program will create about 5,000 new jobs in the region.

Experts say the Ukrainian Danube is of strategic importance due to its favourable geographical position and large transport potential. The region has 3 commercial sea ports, ship navigation by Danube, railway lines, and an airport. In other words, this is an important transport artery for shipping of goods from Europe to Caucasian and Caspian regions.