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Estonian Newspaper: No Ferry Traffic Between Ventspils and Saaremaa This Year
Friday, 8. February — Sunday, 8. December. Ventspils

The  idea to open ferry traffic between Ventspils and Saaremaa this summer apparently will be postponed, because preparation works have delayed, as reported by Saaremaa newspaper “Saarte Haal”.

“Although we hoped to open the ferry traffic in the summer of 2019, procedures related to this route have delayed,” the head of Saaremaa municipality Madis Kallas informed the newspaper. According to him, the ferry traffic most likely will be opened in 2020.

Estonian company "Arenguruum" by order of Saaremaa Business and Non-governmental Association "Saarte Koostookogu" carried out a research last March that testified of the ferry traffic between Saaremaa and Latvia being socioeconomically advantageous, however, it would most likely be unprofitable, if based only on commercial reasons.

It was estimated that Mentu-Ventspils route according to optimistic prognosis during the first years would be in need of grants exceeding 100,000 euros per year, however, in eight years time the route would become self-sufficient. In case of a pessimistic scenario, this route would require 300,000 euros per year according to the research.

Last year in June, Ventspils and Saaremaa municipalities along with representatives of Ventspils Freeport decided collectively to look for a suitable ferry, whereas in October they began developing rules for the competition in order to choose a ferry operator.

From 2006 to 2008, the ferry traffic between the Port of Mentu in Saaremaa and Ventspils was ensured by Estonian private company’s "Saaremaa Laevakompanii" subsidiary company "SSC Ferries" with the ferry "Scania". During this time the ferry carried 60,000 passengers, however, the company closed the ferry line once the crisis began.

LETA/ Ventas Balss 

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