Varna is the largest and most comprehensive Bulgarian port handling over 8 million tons of cargoes per year. Located on the Black Sea's west coast on Varna Bay, along Lake Varna and Lake Beloslav, it also comprises the outlying port of Balchik. It has a significant further development potential with 44 km of sheltered inland waterfront on the lakes alone, easily accessible by road and railroad and adjacent to Varna International Airport.

Port Varna EAD is a state-owned company and the structure of the port includes two component port units: Varna East and Varna West.

With modern equipment, excellent transport links, rail ferry service and a crossroad location, the port is a convenient bridge for the cargo flows between Europe, Russia, Ukraine, Caucasus, Middle Asia, the Middle East and the Far East.

For 6 consecutive years, the port has reached 10% annual turnover growth, following a policy of constant investments in modernisation and technological development and improvement of labor conditions.  The Port of Varna implements quality standards ISO 9001:2000 and it is one of the first Black Sea ports that it is certified as per the requirements of International Ship and Port Facility Security (ISPS Code).

Port of Varna offers full service: loading, discharging, stevedoring, forwarding, storage and various intermodal services. For its approx. 40 berths, it operates 65 electric cranes and about 400 other pieces of ship, landside and warehouse port facilities. The port open-air storage area is 454 000 sq.m. and the warehouses 76 000 sq.m. It has a well-forked railway and road network. The existing port facilities allow the handling of practically all kinds of solid bulk, break-bulk, containerized and some liquid-bulk cargoes. By the total volume of these sorts of cargo, Port of Varna is the indisputable leader in Bulgaria.

Two inland canals connect the sea and Port of Varna East with Lake Varna, Lake Beloslav and Port of Varna West: Channel 1 with draft 11.50 m and Channel 2 with draft 11.00 m. The canals form an island, on which a deepwater oil terminal, among other port facilities, is currently located. The depths of the ship berths and the approaches allow the handling of vessels of capacity up to 50,000 gross tonnes. In view of the stated safe canal depths, only vessels of draft less than 9,90 m and airdraft up to 46 m are allowed to Varna West. Vessels with load over 200 m, beam over 26 m, or over 20 000 gross tonnes are required to pass the channels during daylight hours only. The largest vessel handled (as of 2006) is the Norwegian Dream cruise ship (220 m in length, 50,700 gross tonnes).

Since 2006, Port of Varna serves as a hub for BP and German wind turbine manufacturer Saga.


Future plans

The updated general plan for the Port of Varna to 2020 was approved in 1999. Major projects for new construction, reconstruction and modernization include: a deepwater container terminal and a ro-ro terminal on the island under the Asparuhov most bridge, a grain terminal on the north shore of Lake Varna, south of the Dry Port storage base, a liquid chemicals terminal and a cement and clinker terminal at Varna West, modernization of the passenger and ro-ro terminals at Varna East.

In 2007, new plans were disclosed to relocate the container terminal from Varna East to a new larger bassin on the northeastern shore of Lake Varna and to redevelop old port Varna East, located in the city centre, into a large marine attractions zone with a new cruise terminal, yacht marina, apartments, hotels, restaurants, museums, exhibitions, shopping, and other tourist facilities.

In 2008, plans were disclosed for another deepwater container terminal on the south side of the island for vessels carrying over 2500 TEU. A liquified natural gas terminal is also being developed at Beloslav.


Visit the website of Port Varna for more information



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