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Free port of Ventspils

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Title: Free port of Ventspils  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Transport in Latvia, Latvia, Ventspils, Port of Liepāja, Freeport of Riga
Collection: Free Ports, Ports and Harbours of Latvia, Ventspils
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Free port of Ventspils

Port of Ventspils is the busiest port in the Baltic states

Free Port of Ventspils is a seaport located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea (57° 24' N, 21° 32' E), western part of Latvia.

For the first time Port of Ventspils was mentioned in historical chronicles in 1263. 17th century for port of Ventspils was a period of a very rapid growth and dynamic development, where during the rule of Duke Jacob in the shipyards of Ventspils more than 135 ships were built and sold to European countries. Ventspils was an important member of the Hanseatic League – union of North German trading cities. Next period of a very dynamic growth was at the end of 19th century, when being a part of Russian Empire Ventspils port as first port on the Baltic Sea was connected with railway to Russia’s inland – to the cities of Moscow and Rybinsk. During the rule of Soviet Union Ventspils port evolved as a very important handling centre for oil and oil products and was linked to Russian oil fields with an oil pipeline. Later on the largest terminals in world for handling of liquid chemicals (ammonia) as well as potassium salt were constructed and operated in Ventspils.

Nowadays Free port of Ventspils is a deepwater port, which is ice-free the whole year round. Based on the cargo turnover Free Port of Ventspils is the largest Latvian port and one of the leading ports on Baltic Sea, at the same time being in top 20 of European ports list. In 1998 deepening of the harbour was completed, which ensured the maximum in the port of 17,5 m in liquid bulk area, allowing accommodation of the largest vessels calling the Baltic SeaAframax size tankers with maximum 130.000 metric tons deadweight (DWT). Dry bulk and general cargo area was deepened to 15,5m allowing terminals to accommodate Panamax type vessels of up to 75.000 DWT.

Since year 1997 Port of Ventspils has a Free port or special economic zone status, which allows the companies located in the port territory to acquire tax incentives thus creating favourable environment for investments.

Total area of the port is 2623,9 ha which is a good location not only for port related companies but as well as manufacturing and industrial companies. The terminals located in the port handle different type of cargoes like oil products, crude oil, different liquid chemicals, mineral fertilizers, various metals, forest products, coal, grain, juice concentrates as well as containers and Ro-Ro cargoes. Since 2000 Ventspils port is very actively developing container and ro-ro traffic. As a result presently a regular container line from Ventspils to Great Britain is serviced by Geest North Sea Line. Thanks to strategic decision of the company Scandlines Ventspils port is a centre for ferry transportation, with connections to Sweden, Germany and Russia.


  • Infrastructure 1
    • Ferry lines 1.1
    • Pipelines 1.2
    • Road Network 1.3
    • Railways 1.4
  • Terminals 2
    • Dry bulk and general cargo terminals in Free Port of Ventspils 2.1
  • Achievement 3
  • External links 4


Ferry lines

Currently Free Port of Ventspils services two regular ferry lines:

  • Ventspils – Nynäshamn, 5 times a week, operator: Scandlines;
  • Ventspils – Travemunde, 2 times a week, operator: Scandlines;

Additional information:


Ventspils is linked to oil extraction fields and transportation routes of Russian Federation via system of two pipelines:

  • Crude oil pipeline (Polotsk - Ventspils) with annual capacity 16 mln t;
  • Oil product pipeline (Polotsk - Ventspils) with annual capacity 6 mln t.

Maintenance and management of the pipelines is carried out by Latvian – Russian joint-stock company LatRosTrans.

Road Network

Ventspils has convenient road connections, i.e. main road to the capital of the country Riga, which is located 189 km from Ventspils, as well as European significance two-tract road E22 (Great Britain – the Netherlands – Germany – Sweden (Norkoping) – Ventspils – Moscow), which allows further distribution from Ventspils to Russia and CIS.


The East – West railway corridor through Ventspils is one of the most utilized in Europe. Each year around 20 million tons of various cargoes are transported via the route. With co-financing of EIB and EBRD, SJSC Latvijas dzelzcels has implemented an important development project - East-West railway corridor througput capacity was increased from 20 mln. tons up to 34 mln. tons.


AS Ventbunkers handles various light and heavy oil products, as well as offers forwarding services, ballast/bilge water collection and treatment. Storage capacity of the terminal is 275 000 m3, and throughput capacity of the terminal reaches 10 million tons per year.

AS Ventamonjaks handles various chemical products. The terminal owns the storage capacities of 54 000 tons at once, ensuring the cargo turnover of up to 1.35 million tons per year. 3 deepwater berths can accommodate vessels of 50 000 DWT.

SIA Ventall Terminals is providing storage and transshipment of oil products. The storage capacities of the terminal fluctuate form 67 000 till 80 000 tons, depending on the characteristics of the cargo. The annual throughput capacities reach 1.5 million tons.

Baltic Juice Terminal (SIA OVERSEAS Estates) is the most modern FCOJ terminal in the world located in the Free Port of Ventspils, Latvia. It was constructed in 2006 and is capable of processing a minimum of 100.000 MT of FCOJ annually. BJT offers a full range of FCOJ transshipment, storage and processing services, including mixing, blending and laboratory analysis.

Dry bulk and general cargo terminals in Free Port of Ventspils

A line of companies are working in dry bulk and general cargo area, where maximum depth reaches 15.5 m, allowing terminals to accommodate vessels of up to 75 000 DWT.

AS Kalija Parks is the largest mineral fertilizer transshipment terminal in Europe, and is transshipping around 20% potash sold world-wide. 2 PANAMAX type vessels (up to 75 000 DWT) can be simultaneously loaded by the berths of the terminal. The total storage capacity of the company is 120 000 tons, and in short-term prospective storage capacities will be expanded by 70 000 tons.

AS Ventspils Commercial Port is specializing in transshipment of the wide variety of general cargoes: coal, ferro-alloys, grain, pig iron, sugar, metals, cotton, timber, etc. Company operates on 9 berths (with maximum depth 15.5 m) and 160 000 m2 open storage, as well as 85 000 m2 closed storage areas.

SIA Noord Natie Ventspils Terminals is the state-of-art terminal in the Baltic Sea region in terms of equipment. The terminal provides handling of a large spectrum of cargo nomenclature: containers, Ro-Ro cargoes, cargoes in tanks, metal cargoes, reefer containers, trailers, heavy lift cargoes (up to 100 tons) and other types of general cargo. Company operates 2 berths of 254 m and 300 m length and 14.2 m depth, and closed warehouse of 5 200 m2, which will be expanded to 7 200 m2.

SIA Ventplac is offering transshipment and storage services for timber products. Current throughput volume is 0.5 million tons, but the maximum capacity of the terminal is more than 1 million tons. Forrest products are delivered to the port via roads and railroads, then transshipped and transported to various destinations including Sweden, Finland, Norway and UK on vessels ranging from 0.5 to 4.5 DWT. Company is also transshipping woodchips and peat.

AS Ventspils Grain Terminal is a specialised grain warehousing and transshipment port terminal with calculated annual handling capacities reaching 2,5 mln. tons. The total storage capacities at once are 130 000 tons of grain. At the specialised deepwater berth of the terminal it is possible to accommodate a PANAMAX type vessel with 75 000 DWT. Loading speed of the terminal capacities reach 1 500 tons per hour.


In the popular British newspaper Financial Times publication FDI Magazine investigation "The future of global free zones in 2010/11" (Global Free Zones of the Future 2010/11) Ventspils Free Port occupies fifth place in the future or most promising area, and 5th place as the best in the port area 2010/2011.

External links

  • Free port of Ventspils
  • Ventspils

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