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Theory and reality of doing business in Ventspils

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Theory and reality of doing business in Ventspils

july 21, 2016 / Ventspils nafta termināls

Recently the Chairman of Ventspils City Council in his weekly videoconference stated that the type of cargo a terminal handles is secondary, while the compliance with environmental standards comes first. 

Ventspils nafta termināls (VNT) follows exactly the same principle by focusing all efforts on the installation of a vapour recovery unit (VRU) that would not only contribute to higher environmental standards in Ventspils, but also create an opportunity for VNT to increase the volume of transhipped cargoes in Ventspils port.

VNT Managing Director Lars Pantzlaff emphasises: “As a result of the installation of the VRU, VNT plans to increase the range of products it is allowed to tranship. However, despite incorrect concerns raised by city officials, these new products cause no harm as their transhipment is only planned in connection with the use of the VRU. Such operation with similar products is already being performed by other companies in Ventspils Freeport and hence it cannot be considered as anything new.” 

VNT believes that the board of Ventspils Freeport, represented also by four members of Ventspils City Council, could review the VRU related matters rather speedily, thus attesting the genuine interest of Ventspils Freeport Authority and Ventspils City Council in the speedy installation of the VRU and facilitating further progress of the project to the benefit of Ventspils residents. However, on the contrary, the Chairman of Ventspils City Council and Chairman of the board of Ventspils Freeport, in the interview with the television channel TV3 commented that the plans of VNT regarding the installation of the VRU could never come true.

Lars Pantzlaff states: “We expressed our readiness to invest 5 million euro into the VRU a long time ago, and we live up to our promise. Regretfully, we hear statements of the Chairman of Ventspils City Council, who also performs duties of the Chairman of the board of Ventspils Freeport, regarding the likelihood of installing the VRU. This raises questions and doubt about the true intentions of leading officials in Ventspils and their commitment to raise environmental standards, welfare of local residents, and stable cargo flow through the port of Ventspils, thus also neglecting the interests of the state..”

Such mixed messages reveal the existing dual standards and the drastic difference between theory and reality, which negatively affect long-term business development opportunities and growth of economic activities in Ventspils in general, especially in current times of declining cargo volumes.

 

VRU installation process transparency

To document the bureaucratic and complicated VRU installation process, VNT has launched two timelines on its homepage – http://www.vnt.lv. The timelines show the progress of both temporary and permanent VRU initiatives and are updated regularly.

General information about VRU: www.vnt.lv/en/environment/vru/vapor-recovery-unit/

Temporary VRU timeline: http://www.vnt.lv/en/environment/vru/temporary/ 

Permanent VRU timeline: http://www.vnt.lv/en/environment/vru/permanent/