Lena Basin River Ports

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Lena Basin River Ports


important water transport junctions linking the industrial and agricultural regions of the Yakut ASSR and northern Irkutsk Oblast with industrial regions of the country and populated areas located on rivers of the basin, the ports organize the transport of cargoes and passengers on the Lena River and its tributaries.

The ports operate for 125–170 days per year on the average. Owing to the absence of a well-developed network of railroads and highways in these areas, general-purpose ports and industrial wharves are of primary importance in the development of the economy of the region. Among the cargoes transported down the Lena (from Osetrovo to the mouth) are manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery, equipment, spare parts, metals, hardware, cement, salt, petroleum products, and coal; ore and timber are transported upriver. Manufactured goods, foodstuffs, equipment, machinery, building materials, coal, petroleum products, and metals are vtransported upriver on the main tributaries of the Lena—the Vitim, Aldan, and Viliui. As of 1972 the basin had 32 ports, landings, and stopping points of the Ministry of Inland Water Transport and more than 80 wharves belonging to industrial enterprises.

The main port-landings (from the upper course of the Lena to its mouth) are Osetrovo, Kirensk, Lensk, Olekminsk, Pokrovsk, Yakutsk, Sangary, Bodaibo (Vitim River), Khandyga, and Dzhebariki-Khaia (Aldan River).

The river port of Osetrovo, which was opened in 1958, is situated on the left bank of the Lena, 3,500 km from the mouth, within the city limits of Ust’-Kut, Irkutsk Oblast. It is the largest river port of the country and is the only place in the Lena basin which is linked with a railroad (the Lena station of the East Siberian Railroad). Osetrovo provides for the transshipment and dispatch by river transport of up to 80 percent of the cargoes bound for the northern regions of Irkutsk Oblast, the Yakut ASSR, and coastal arctic regions from the Khatanga River to the Kolyma. The port (a landing since 1929) began to develop intensively in 1952 as soon as the Taishet-Lena railroad reached the Lena River. During the period 1952–72 the freight turnover increased by a factor of 20. The port ships manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery, equipment, metals, and building materials. It also ships petroleum products received from the wharves of the Ust’-Kut petroleum base. Timber, mica, and scrap metal arrive in the port. The port has three freight and passenger areas. Overall length of freight wharves exceeds 1,500 m. The port has a considerable sheltered warehouse area and a passenger station. In 1973 work began on the construction of the port’s third stage. The port was awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Labor in 1971.

The industrial river port of Lensk of the Ministry of Nonferrous Metallurgy of the USSR, which was opened in 1965, is situated on the left bank of the Lena River, 2,648 km from the mouth, within the city of Lensk. It serves the diamond-mining industry located near the city of Mirnyi and is linked with the latter and with the mines by highway. The port receives manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery, equipment, building materials, coal, and petroleum products.

The river port of Yakutsk, which was opened in 1959, is situated within the limits of the city of Yakutsk, 1,530 km from the mouth of the Lena River. It plays the leading role in the transshipment of cargoes arriving in Yakutsk from Osetrovo and in the transport of local freight and passengers. The port receives and dispatches manufactured goods, foodstuffs, machinery, equipment, metals, building materials, coal, and chemical cargoes to regions of the Yakut ASSR. Loading and unloading operations are carried out by gantry cranes on well-equipped wharves of the port and by floating cranes along the natural shore. The construction of the first stage of the port, consisting of mechanized wharves (460 m in length), is being completed (1973). A passenger area with a station was built in 1972.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.