KYIV, UKRAINE — Ukrainian agribusiness Kernel Holding SA has completed its purchase of “OilExportTerminal,” an edible oils transshipment terminal in the port of Pivdennyi in the Odesa region of the Black Sea, the company said.

According to the company’s second quarter fiscal year 2023 operations update, the transaction was completed in December and valued at $19.8 million. In addition to truck, rail and ship loading capabilities, the terminal can accept and store separately up to 49,404 tonnes of edible oils such as sunflower, soybean and rapeseed.

Yevgen Osypov, chief executive officer at Kernel, said the terminal is strategically important for the company because oil transshipment remains unavailable at the Mykolaiv terminals on the Black Sea following Russia’s Feb. 24, 2022, invasion.

Three Black Sea ports (Odesa, Chornomorsk and Pivdennyi) were reopened under a deal brokered by the United Nations and Turkey and signed July 22, 2022, by Russia and Ukraine. Despite its significant grain shipping facilities, the Mykolaiv port is not covered by the Black Sea Grain Initiative.

In the 2019-2022 marketing years, Mykolaiv accounted for about half of the total oil transshipment volumes in Ukraine, the world’s largest supplier of sunflower oil. Kernel owns eight oilseed processing plants in Ukraine with a total annual capacity to process 3.5 million tonnes of sunflower seeds.

“Mykolaiv is of historical importance in this regard,” Osypov said. “The full-scale war caused the port and terminals to shut down; they are not included in the Grain Corridor. That’s why we are using ‘OilExporTerminal’ in Pivdennyi to cover the temporary losses.”

In addition to storage, Yuriy Pugach, production director at Kernel, said the existing facilities are divided into four groups able to discharge oils from road and rail transport. A project to discharge oil from tank containers on railway platforms also has been implemented.

The maximum unloading capacity at the terminal per day is 100 tank trucks with a total volume of 2,500 tonnes and 24 rail tank trucks with a volume of 1,440 tonnes. The maximum vessel loading speed is 500 tonnes per hour.

Prior to the war, Kernel was the world’s largest producer of sunflower oil (about 7% of global production) and its biggest exporter (about 12%), as well as being the largest producer and seller of bottled sunflower oil in Ukraine. Kernel exports agricultural products to more than 80 countries.