The port of Odesa suffered serious damage from a Russian missile attack early on Monday and may not be able to handle potential grain shipments for the foreseeable future.
“It will be very difficult to restore it in a short time, which means that, probably, the Odesa port will not be able yet to receive bulk carriers,” Ukrainian lawmaker Oleksiy Goncharenko wrote on his Telegram channel on Monday.
According to Goncharenko, a Russian Oniks missile destroyed a warehouse from which grain used to be carried to berthed vessels nearby.
The damage could extend to the grain delivery system from the warehouse to the pier, along with assorted loading mechanisms.
Odesa mayor Gennadiy Trukhanov separately confirmed on his Telegram channel that the Odesa Maritime Terminal “suffered significant damage”.
Damage includes the destruction of a multi-storey pier-side hotel, which has, however, been empty for years.
Odesa is one of three deep-sea ports that have been blocked for sea traffic since Russia pulled out of a United Nations-protected maritime grain corridor on 17 July.
Ukraine last week managed to resume some grain shipments from the other two — Pivdennyi/Yuzhnyy and Chornomorsk.
Odesa, however, the port most frequently attacked by Russian missiles and drones over the past two months, remains off limits.
The latest attack may even have damaged vessels there.
Citing local media reports, Goncharenko wrote that “several ships moored” may have suffered damage worth “hundreds of thousands of dollars”. Several “foreign tugs of a private towing company” are said to have been particularly badly hit.
According to Marine Traffic, four tugs are currently in Odesa harbour. They are all listed under management of Ukrainian outfits but the registered owners of two of them seem to based in the United Arab Emirates.
Last night’s attack also prevented one ship from leaving harbour that has been trapped there since the Ukraine war began in February last year.
The 10,100-dwt Comet (built 1997) had been “ready to leave the port” before the attack, according to Goncharenko.
The vessel is controlled by Blumenthal Asia, which earlier this month managed to get another bulker out of Odesa — the 35,000-dwt Puma (built 2017).