An Admiral, supervised the construction of the port and city of Odessa. In 1772, at the invitation of Count A.G. Orlov – Chesmensky arrived in Russia and entered as a volunteer the Black Sea Fleet. Participated in the Russian-Turkish War 1787-1791 and 1768-1774. De Ribas linked his fate with a new young city on the Black Sea. Future Odessa staggers De Ribas and his companions of its "kindness" and they decide that here will be the major sea of the Black Sea.
From 1797 to 1797 with the rank of vice Admiral supervised the construction of military and commercial port of the bay Gadghibey (future Odessa). The new city was built by de Ribas on the best samples of Genoa, Livorno and Naples. The first builders were soldiers, officers and Ukrainian Cossacks. For them and for the sailors of rowing flotilla Deribas built the first stone buildings, customs and quarantine. The main street of Odessa was named Deribasovskaya in honor of Osip Deribas. During the period of Emperor Paul I Deribas was appointed a General Krigscomissar, a member of Admiralty Board and director of the Forest Department. Osip Mikhailovich held a series of activities for the conversation, breeding and intended use of oak forests for shipbuilding. In 1799 received the rank of Admiral. At the end of the life de Ribas wrote: «From the actions committed by me in my life the most important is the construction of the port and the city, which was, by the will of the wise monarchs, given a wonderful name – Odessa – a trade route connecting people by exchange of works of their own hands and mind».