Nikolaev is situated on the left bank of Bugskiy Liman (estuary) of the Black Sea where the Yuzhniy Bug and the Ingul River join. The population of the city over 500 thousand people.

On the 1-st of July 1862 the commercial port was opened to accommodate foreign ships with establishing of the first class customs house, and the city was opened for the foreigners to arrive and live there. Nikolaev has great transport potential, due to the availability of sea ports and terminals, a handy railway junction, two airports.

Some international transport corridors (ITC) are running through Nikolaev:

    • ITC No. 9 Helsinki – St. Petersburg – Kiev (Moscow) – Odessa (Kishinev) – Bucharest – Aleksandropolis;
    • ITC No. 7 ‘Danube Water Way’;
    • ITC TRACECA ‘Europe – Caucasus – Asia’;
    • one of the NELTI routes (New Euro-Asian Transport Initiative) ‘Northern China – Kazakhstan – Western Europe’.

For the time being Nikolaev Merchant Sea Port is an important transport hub in the south of Ukraine and one of the leading national harbours. In accordance with decree No. 1013 issued by the Cabinet on 23.07.2008, SE Dnepro-Bugskiy Sea Port became a special structural subdivision of Nikolaev Merchant Sea Port.


The article is written on the basis of the Mandatory Regulations issued for Nikolaev Merchant Sea Port with (changes and additions) and customs code of Nikolaev port.

General Information

Nikolaev Sea Port’s position: Latitude 46°56′N; Longitude 34°57′E.

The port is located in the city of Nikolaev, on the left bank of the bend of the Yuzhniy Bug river, 35 km upstream from where the river flows into the Dneprovskiy Liman (estuary). The port joins the sea via the BugskoDneprovskoLimanskiy Channel (BDLC) passing through the Dnepro-Bugskiy Liman and Yuzhniy Bug river. This channel starts at Berezan Island and goes on 44 miles to Nikolaev Port. The channel consists of 13 bends, 6 of which pass through the Dneprovskiy Liman, and the others through the Yuzhniy Bug river. It is 100 m wide and 11.2 m deep.

Nikolaev port is navigable all year round. The water in the liman is fresh.

In the cold period of the year, from November till April, N, NE, W, NW winds prevail, and from April till October, NE, S, SE winds do. The average monthly wind speed is 3–6 mps. In the cold period wind speed of 15 mps and more tend to prevail. In the warm period the winds’ direction is marked by twenty four hour circulation, which makes for stable wind breezes, i.e. southerly during the day and northerly winds at night.

Fogs are mostly observed from October till March, with the average monthly number of foggy days ranging from 4 till 12.

Visibility in port’s approach channels and waters extends to 5–10 miles and more.

Nikolaev port’s waters are not protected from winds – that is why small vessels cannot take shelter in them – so, in case of S, SW, SE winds, masters of such vessels must take the necessary precautions.

The port’s waters provide good anchorage for large tonnage vessels.

In icy periods icebreaker assistance is performed by port’s tugs.

Nikolaev port is equipped with all means of communication.

The port waters’ total area is 323 ha; port land area comprises 69,3 ha.

Entering and Leaving Port.

The shipmaster or agent must inform Nikolaev port’s authorities of ETA 10 days prior to arrival and follow up with exact information 72, 24 and 4 hours prior to the arrival.

Detailed approach information should include:

      • the shipowners and charterer’s name;
      • precise time of arrival at the port’s pilotage station;
      • ship’s draft and cargo plan (if the ship is loaded);
      • full information about availability of cargo documents;
      • fuel, water and other supplies’ requirements.

Prior notification of sanitary or any other restrictions (if any), preventing normal handling of the ship in port is also mandatory.

Outward formalities are arranged by Port State Control on board the ship on agent’s request or, in exceptional cases, at the Port State Control Inspection office.

Besides the documentation stipulated in the General Rules for Outward Formalities, shipmasters shall submit the following to Port State Control Inspection: the executive cargo plan, scheme of deck cargo securing and stability calculations in view of arrival at and departure from the destination.

Navigational Conditions

Nikolaev port’s waters and Bugsko-Dneprovsko-Limanskiy Channel are passable for ships up to 215 m in length, up to 30 m in width and loaded draft up to 10.3 m. Exceptions to these dimensions can be determined by the Harbour Master, case by case. Large vessels navigating in the channel shall keep to their starboard side.

Vessels should pass each other port to port. Ships navigating in the approach channel shall exhibit the following signals, which must be visible over the whole horizon:

      • ships with draft from 5 up to 8 m: during daytime – black ball, at night – red light, exhibited from the most visible place;
      • ships with draft of more than 8 m: during daytime – black cylinder, at night – three red lights, disposed vertically in the most visible place.

Small tonnage vessels shall give way to vessels exhibiting the signals. Ships with these signals have precedence over other large vessels and they regulate the order, in which ships pass through BDLC. A ship leaving the port has precedence over another one in the equivalent position.

All tugs, both sailing alone and in convoy, as well as smallsize vessels with draft up to 4 m in full load, when passing largesize vessels shall sail out beyond the channel’s edge – except in bends 2, 3, and 4 of BDLC.

The overtaking of one largesize vessel by another is prohibited in the channel – except in cases when it is necessary to avoid emergency situations.


Pilotage in Nikolaev port water, by mooring operations in the port and at the handling terminals, as well as by vessels anchoring on the port’s roadsteads is compulsory and is performed exclusively by the state sea pilots of SE Delta-Pilot.

Tug Assistance

Tug assistance is compulsory for ships of more than 187 m in length while passing port’s water area. The tug service can be rendered at shipmaster’s or his agent’s request dispatched to the tugs owner, which is allowed to work in port’s water area accordingly to the agreement made with the port. Tugs can also serve a small-size vessel at the shipmaster’s request.


There are two anchorages in the inner roadstead of Nikolaev sea port – Western and Eastern ones.

Policy on Staying in Port

Nikolaev port waters comprise two roads – Eastern and Western ones.

The leading line of Siversovo Konstantinovskiy lighthouse serves as the dividing line. The Eastern road is intended for anchorage of large tonnage and deep draft vessels, the Western road is for small tonnage vessels.

A ship’s towing and mooring operations in the port with port tug assistance are accomplished under command of the towed ship’s Master regardless of whether the ship is proceeding under her own power or not. Mooring operations are not allowed when wind speed is 15 mps or more. From the moment of announcement of the ice period, all maneuvers and mooring operations in the port may be carried out only by Harbour Master’s permission if a pilot is on board. Ship navigation through BDLC is performed with icebreaker assistance in convoy or with supply tug assistance. Ships with corresponding ice class may navigate in ice without any escorting, with the Harbour Master’s permission.

Request for icebreaker assistance must be submitted 24 hours prior to expected arrival or departure.


Special fueling and refueling vehicles carry out liquid fuel bunkering in the port or at a handling terminal. It is performed near all berths in concurrence with the State Ecological Inspection of the northwestern region of the Black Sea and with port’s Fire Department permission.


Nikolaev port collects bilge waters, sewage waters and oily ballast. The port also provides for fresh water supply by Narzan water carrier. Ships lying on the roadstead are serviced by a pilot boat or road cutter. Fresh filtered water is treated by silver ionizer for longterm storage.


The following kinds of cargo can be handled in Nikolaev port:

      • ferrous and nonferrous metals of all sorts and shapes;
      • pig iron;
      • large and small diameter pipes;
      • various ores;
      • iron ore pellets;
      • ferroalloys;
      • clays;
      • bulk potassium fertilizers;
      • equipment (including over size and heavy lifts);
      • bulk grain;
      • foodstuffs of all kinds;
      • packed cargoes;
      • timber products.


Territory of Nikolaev port covers 69.3 ha. Water area is 323 ha. The length of the railroad bed – 27 km. Total berthing line amounts to 2,420 м. There are 39 gantries in the port:

      • Danube Shipping and Stevedore Company Ltd – berths Nos. 1, 2;
      • Complex for handling of vegetable oil of EVERY Ltd – a station at berth No. 3;
      • MOREPRODUCT Ltd – in the rearward of berth No. 5;
      • Stevedoring Company NIKMET-Terminal – berths Nos. 3, 4, 5, 6;
      • SC NILMORSERVICE Nikolaev – berth No. 9;
      • FE YUZHNAYA Stevedoring Company Ltd – berth No. 10;
      • Stevedoring Investment Company Ltd – berth No. 11;
      • ICL Ukraine Ltd – in the rearward of berth No. 12;
      • European Transport Stevedoring Company Ltd – berths Nos. 12, 13;
      • GRINTUR-EKS Ltd – berth No. 14;
      • FE KHIMTRANS Ukraine – in the rearward of berths Nos. 13, 14.
Berths of Nikolaev Sea Port
Specialization Berth length (m) Depth (m)
Auxiliary 0 138,00 7,50
General cargoes 1 150,00 10,50
General cargoes 2 150,00 10,50
General, liquid cargoes 3 172,00 10,50
General cargoes 4 150,00 10,50
Bulk, grain 5 265,00 10,50
General cargoes, dry bulk 6 250,00 10,50
Port elevator 7 158,00 9,00
General cargoes 9 209,00 10,50
General cargoes, bulk 10 208,00 10,50
General cargoes, bulk 11 209,00 10,50
General cargoes, bulk 12 187,00 10,50
General cargoes, bulk 13 236,00 10,50
Handling of grain, liquid cargoes 14 238,00 10,50
Liquid cargoes 15 220,00 11,20
Nikolaev Port’s Crane Specification
Name Quonatity Lifting capacity (t) Outreach (m)
Albreht 2 10 8-32
Ganz 8 5/6 8-32
Kirovets 1 16 8-32
Albatros 21 10/20 8-32
Sokol 5 16/32 8-32
Kondor 1 16/32/40 8-32
Nikolaev Port’s Fleet
Name, type Power(kWt)
Ukrainets, tug 1853
Docker, tug 99
Zyuid, tug 382
Bugskiy, tug 352
Ural, road tug 221
PK-23, floating crane 147
NSM-101, oil-garbage collector 132
Yubileiniy, road tug 221


Distribution cold-storage warehouse for storage of deep-frozen products

On April 24, 2009 the company MOREPRODUCT Ltd put into service the distribution cold-storage warehouse for storage of deep-frozen products, which is unique on the territory of CIS-countries. To handle vessels, they use port’s berths Nos. 3, 4. The throughput capacity of the terminal totals 500,000 t per year. The number of employees – 50 people.


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