The Krasnoyarsk region has imposed a state of emergency on the stretch of the Angara River from the Boguchany Hydropower Plant to its mouth after water levels fell below design depths due to dry weather.
The imposition of a state of emergency regime will allow the river fleet to operate in shallow water conditions under the personal responsibility of ship captains, Interfax reported Wednesday.
This is necessary to complete deliveries of cargo to the Far North and ship out products of forestry companies operating there.
Due to a long dry spell, water levels in the Angara have fallen below design depths. The situation has been significantly exacerbated by heavy smoke from forest fires.
According to the rules for shipping along internal waterways, ship traffic along the Angara should be prohibited, but Yenisei River Shipping Company has not yet completed delivery of cargo. Most of the cargo en route consists of about 200,000 tons of coal for gold mining company Polyus. Other shipping companies are supposed to ship out about 1 million cubic meters of forest products.
Yenisei River Shipping now has 110 river ships operating on the Angara, nearly twice as many as usual. “We primarily have to use ships with a shallow draft and load large ships at 40 percent to 50 percent,” a Yenisei spokesman told Interfax.
Meanwhile, all ship owners have been warned by management at the Boguchany Hydropower Plant, which is currently under construction, that on Aug. 15 the plant will completely stop the spilling that regulates the water level in the Angara. This will essentially mean an end to navigation.
Yenisei River Shipping, the largest transportation company in the Krasnoyarsk region, carries cargo and passengers in the basins of the Yenisei and Angara rivers. Norilsk Nickel owns 43.92 percent of the company, and the Federal Property Agency owns 25.5 percent.