Astrakhan Branch News

Volga-Caspian Marine Shipping Canal marks 145th anniversary

The Volga-Caspian Marine Shipping Canal marked the 145th anniversary in August 2019 from the date of commencement of the construction.

In 1874 regular works started to deepen the Bakhtemirsky arm of the Volga river.

The VCMSC is one of the oldest canals in world shipping practice in addition to the Suez Canal, the Kiel Canal and the Panama Canal and one of the most distant shipping canals in the world. Its extension is 188 kilometers. It starts from the kilometer zero located 20 kilometers lower than the city of Astrakhan and consists of two parts: the canal bed (from the kilometer zero to the 86th kilometer) and the marine part of the canal (from the 86th kilometer to the 188th kilometer). Along the entire length the canal has natural and artificial holes. The length of natural holes of the canal is 111 kilometers. The breadth of the canal is from 100 meters to 120 meters with navigational depths of 5.1 meters. The quantity of knees on the canal is 47. A total of 43 knees are on the canal bed and four beds are on the marine part of the canal.

The navigation on the canal has been all-the-year-round since 1995 thanks to the icebreaker support provided along the whole VCMSC to the extent of the Caspian Sea.

In 2004 the VCMSC was assigned to FSUE “Rosmorport” on the basis of the right of economic management and placed under the management of the Astrakhan Branch. The Astrakhan Branch makes necessary arrangements for ensuring navigation security in the water area of the canal. The branch also installs aids to navigation, carries out repair dredging operations annually to maintain the required parameters of the canal to the amount of up to four million cubic meters of bottom soil.

At present, the VCMSC meets all navigation safety norms. It helps unite the seaports of the Caspian Sea and oil deposits of the Caspian region with inland waterways and other Russian water basins.

Due to the celebrations marking the jubilee date director of the Astrakhan Branch Aleksei Svyatsky congratulated all employees of the branch on the memorable event and wished them further success in their professional activities, and gave promotional gifts to the most distinguished employees of the Astrakhan Branch.