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No transparency as to development of new Ventspils Freeport Regulations

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No transparency as to development of new Ventspils Freeport Regulations

june 21, 2016 / Ventspils nafta termināls

““Ventspils nafta” terminals” (VNT) considers that the new Ventspils Freeport regulations proposed by Ventspils Freeport Authority on 27 May 2016 were developed mostly without the involvement of Ventspils port terminals, including VNT.

In February 2016 Ventspils Freeport Authority invited Ventspils Freeport operators, also VNT, to participate in the meeting as to the plan of Ventspils Freeport to develop a smell reduction program to be incorporated in the Ventspils Freeport regulations. There was an initial meeting during which Ventspils Freeport Authority acknowledged to the port terminals that they will be updated based on the results of the smell reduction program. As a follow-up, a week later VNT was visited by the consultancy firm, hired by Ventspils Freeport Authority, to gather further information for its research work.

Since February 2016, despite several inquiries by VNT as to the progress of the development of the program, regretfully no information has been shared by Ventspils Freeport Authority with VNT. The results of the smell reduction program, which were crowned with the development of the amendments to the Ventspils Freeport regulations, are crucial to VNT because Ventspils Freeport Authority has not been issuing technical regulations (requirements) required for construction of the permanent vapour recovery unit (VRU) for more than five months while justifying its action (or obvious lack thereof) with the necessity to complete the development of the smell reduction program first.

VNT Managing Director Lars Pantzlaff states: “Regardless of the promise to inform the port terminals about the progress of the development of the program, on 27 May 2016 Ventspils Freeport Authority proposed to Ventspils City Council to make amendments to the Ventspils binding regulations No 9 “Ventspils Freeport Regulations”,  issued 2 March 2012, without any involvement of VNT, representing the biggest transhipment company for oil products in Ventspils port. VNT is neither aware of any new requirements nor the foreseen transition period to comply with new requirements. Ignoring the opinion of the parties directly affected, is a clear disregard for the companies operating in the port, and has nothing in common with a professional, transparent, and efficient management and culture to promote business activity in Ventspils port which in the view of overall declining cargo volumes should be a priority for all involved parties.”

 

For years, Ventspils City Council and Ventspils Freeport Authority have been continuously emphasizing the need to install a VRU. However,  during all those years, there has been no urgency to amend the Freeport regulations. Ventspils Freeport Authority started its work on the amendments to the Ventspils Freeport regulations only after VNT had publicly announced its firm plans to build the permanent VRU, making the now claimed urgency rather questionable.