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Water transport in Belarus

At present, water transport is enjoying rich development, meeting the needs of the economy of the Republic of Belarus for transportation of cargo and passengers, alongside other types of transport.


The Republic has around 1,600km of waterways, with transport along such rivers as the Dniapro, Pryypiać, Biarezina, Zachodniaja Dzvina, Sož, Nioman, and the Dniaproŭska-Buhski kanal.


The river fleet employs 2,000 people, largely transporting mineral and construction cargoes, as well as passengers. Oil products, as well as overweight and oversize cargoes, are also carried by water transport.


The transport and technical fleet (passenger and towing vessels, barges, dredgers and support vessels) is stationed at ten river ports (Brest, Pinsk, Mikašévičy, Mazyr, Rečyca, Homieĺ, Babrujsk, Mahilioŭ, Viciebsk, and Hrodna). The river fleet annually transports around 4 million tonnes of cargo.


Pinsk Shipbuilding and Shiprepair Plant OJSC builds new vessels, and reconstructs old. Within recent years, it has built four passenger vessels, now operating along the Zachodniaja Dzvina and Dniapro rivers.


Favourable and safe navigation is ensured by three waterway enterprises: RUESP Dneprobugvodput; RUP Dnepro-Berezinskoe predpriyatie vodnyh putej (enterprise of waterways); and RU Dnepro-Dvinskoe predpriyatie vodnyh putej Belvodput. These conduct daily inspections, as well as regular dredging and bottom-cleaning works, ensuring that navigation routes are kept clear, and that buoys and beacons are in place to aid navigation.


The Republic of Belarus, being an inter-continental state, is interested in water access to the ports of the Baltic Sea and the inclusion of its waterways within the network of internal waterways of Western Europe. To ensure compliance with contemporary requirements of ecological security, the Republic of Belarus is currently reconstructing the Dniaproŭska-Buhski kanal’s hydraulic structures, to meet the Va class.


In line with European Standard 5, navigation locks have been built at Duboj, Navasady, Kobryn, Tryšyn and Zaluzzie, significantly improving navigation conditions and facilitating inclusion of Belarus’ waterways into a pan-European waterway transport system. The construction of locks continues.

During the warm season, cruising is popular, especially including stops at the Belarusian sights in Brest, Viciebsk, Hrodna, Homieĺ, Mahilioŭ, Babrujsk, Mazyr and Pinsk, and visiting the national parks Prypiacki (Pripyatsky), Naračanski (Narochansky), and Braslaŭskija aziory (Braslav Lakes), the Minskaje mora and voz. Vyhanaščanskaje.