Latviski English По-русски
Friday 26.05.2017 | Name days: Varis, Eduards, Edvards

De Facto: relocation of oligarchs will cost EUR 30 million more

(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RUCoal transshipment at Riga Freeport, which is a business that is closely associated with oligarchs, is planned to be relocated to new docks on Krievu Island by the end of the year. EUR 133 million have been invested in this project already. Now the freeport’s authority has to invest EUR 30 million more, as reported by De Facto.

In addition, Riga City Council will have to amend the territory’s planning so that the European Commission does not take away the money that has been provided so far.

It is reported by the programme that relocation to Krievu Island is being performed in order to reduce the volume of coal dust and noise level in the city centre.

De Facto explains that relocation of the port affects two businesses in particular – Strek and Riga Commercial Port Terminals indirectly owned by families of ex-politicians Andris Skele and Ainars Slesers. Once relocated to Krievu Island, Riga Commercial Port will cooperate together with coal owner from Kemerovo Oblast SDS Ugol. This company is part of a holding the largest shareholder in which is Russian billionaire Vladimir Gridin, Russian State Duma deputy from Vladimir Putin’s United Russia, journalists say.

«The European Union has allocated EUR 77 million to relocate the port to Krievu Island – closer to the sea. A total of EUR 133 million have been invested in this project so far. But what has been built so far is not enough. This is why meeting the deadline – end of next year – remain under a big question mark. Both companies agreed to relocate through their teeth. Riga Commercial Port objected the most. The coal terminal views the 2006 agreement with the freeport’s authority as still in force. This agreement states that Krievu Island will have a total of ten docks. But only four have been finished so far,» De Facto journalists report.

Although chairman of the freeport’s board Andris Ameriks notes that «such promises were never given», he does admit that an agreement exists. State Audit’s report mentions this as well. It is stated in the agreement that the total length of docks should be no less than 2 km. What has been built for Krievu Island is slightly longer than 1 km. Sides also agreed areas would have concrete surfaces. There are none at the moment, De Facto comments.

«Considering the lack of clarity in regards to coal transit in the future, businessmen reached an agreement with the port in February that other docks will not be built, but the port will apply concrete surfacing to cargo areas, build access roads and establish a dust fence. The port will provide the necessary funding.»

Ameriks reports that investments may reach up to EUR 30 million, adding that this money will not be gifted to companies – they will pay back in port fees.

De Facto reports that major corrections will be added to the project. It will not be necessary for Riga Commercial Port to relocate all of its infrastructure to Krievu Island, only its coal transshipment infrastructure. Other cargoes will be allowed to be handled on Daugava’s right bank. «The city’s territorial planning does not allow that at the moment.»

On Tuesday, 14 March, Riga City Council will decide on the plan’s amendments to legalize partial remainder of Riga Commercial Port within its old territory.

De Facto reports that it is important that EC does not take away the money that has already been invested in Krievu Island project. The commission’s decision will arrive in 2019. Relocation of coal transshipment infrastructure will have been completed by then.


Leave a reply

Municipal elections 2017: what do people say?

With municipal elections gradually coming close, BNN offers a compilation of opinions provided by experts from different industries. Short answers consist of thoughts about specific municipalities that affect respondents directly, and municipal administrations in general – what people expect from officials and what changes they expect from elections.

Trade of natural gas to legal clients in Latvia commences

Trade of natural gas to legal clients in Latvia has commenced. Latvenergo’s Elektrum product offers fixed-price contracts for 12-month supply period. The first gas supply contracts have been signed with clients in Latvia, the company reports.

Murniece: the biggest strength of Latvia’s parliament is public involvement

The biggest strength of Latvia’s parliament is the involvement of the public in resolution efforts of matters associated with child and women’s rights, the rights of disabled people, as well as security, tax policy and the European Union, says Saeima speaker Inara Murniece.

Corruption on decline in Lithuania, yet still remains troublesome

To wrap up the findings of a new corruption research ordered by the Special Investigation Service, an institution dealing with financial crimes in Lithuania, the situation is largely improving, yet not as fast as the service wishes.

Ventspils signs agreement with Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone

Vetnspils Freeport Authority and Ventspils High Technology Park signed an agreement yesterday with Chinese-Belarusian industrial park Great Stone, which is the largest infrastructure development project in Belarus, as reported by the freeport’s representatives.

Resignation filed by arrested Tallinn Deputy Mayor

The Deputy Mayor of the Estonian capital has stepped down from office after being arrested as part of a criminal case into violations of procedural restrictions of Tallinn procurement tenders.

Residents: situation in Latvia is developing in a wrong manner

54% of residents believe the situation in Latvia is currently developing in a wrong manner. A similar situation is noted in relation to the evaluation of the government’s work. 75% of respondents are critical about the government’s work. Only 17% of respondents are positive about the government’s work, according to results of Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer.

Finance Minister: we have to be ready for flexibility in the reform plan

Currently we have to progress forward with the intended tax reform and prepare for a degree of flexibility, says Latvian Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola.

Zarins: unlike healthcare workers, Latvia’s roads are crumbling silently

Saeima deputy Ivars Zarins has submitted a proposal that offers restoring State Roads Fund and providing it with funding of 80% of excise tax for oil products. It is also proposed to divert income from vehicle operation tax and road use fee.

Price of oil slides 5%, though exporters decide to uphold production restrictions

Oil price has dropped by around five percent, even though oil-exporting countries have decided to maintain production limits until spring 2018.

Experts: role of free trade agreements to increase – especially with Asia

Latvian businessmen are already sufficiently active in several Asian markets. Their experience shows – these markets have great potential, according to representatives of the European Parliament’s Information Bureau.

Trump steps up pressure on NATO’s «indebted»

All NATO member states should pay their fair share of military expenses, has stated U.S. President Donald Trump in a meeting of NATO member states in Brussels.

Sunday expected to be summer-like hot in Latvia

This Sunday is expected to be summer-like hot, whereas the week after will be cold and rainy, as reported by Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Pensioner guide: old people are isolated from society in Latvia

«In my experience with social care, I was surprised by the dominating belief that the only thing old people need is elementary care – some food, a wash and a walk outside. Psychology of old people is something completely alien to people in Latvia,» says initiator of Pensioners Guide in Latvia Nelli Skadina.

SEB: reimbursements paid to nearly 340 loan clients over the past five years

In five years since the signing of the first loan payment insurance contract, reimbursements have been paid to nearly 240 SEB Bank clients who took loans and experienced unexpected difficulties after.

Number of tourists to Riga up 7% in 2017

In the first three months of 2017, a total of 263.5 thousand people were serviced in Riga’s hotels and tourist accommodations. 221.3 thousand of those tourists were foreign guests. Compared with the same period of last year, the number of tourists has grown 7%.

Estonian capital’s Deputy Mayor arrested over waste management dealings

The Deputy Mayor of Tallinn, Arvo Sarapuu, accused of deliberately violating procedural restrictions an especially large scale as part of a criminal case, has been arrested by the Estonian Internal Security Service.

Saeima ratifies convention on restriction for the use of mercury

On Thursday, 25 May, Latvia’s Saeima ratified Minamata Convention on Mercury. The objective of the convention is protecting people and the environment against anthropogenic emissions and leaks of mercury.

Europe experienced foreign investment records last year

Last year, Europe attracted a record large volume of foreign investments with 5,845 new direct investment projects, which is 15% more than the year before, according to results of EY European Attractiveness Survey.

Electric car charging network expands in Latvia to promote «greener thinking»

The once long-away dream of having cars that run on alternative fuel is now a reality – a special infrastructure network keeps expanding in Latvia to make electric cars more popular, says Motors Latvia BMW Group manager Ivars Norvelis.

Estonian Minister steps down after questioning NATO membership

Estonian Minister of Public Affairs Mihhail Korb has stated he resigns from office after saying he is not in favour of NATO membership.

Construction of a fish freezer commences at Ventspils Freeport

Construction work has commenced in Ventspils industrial territory on Talsu Street 200. Latvian National Fisheries Producers' Organisation plans to build a fish freezer facility there, as reported by Ventspils Freeport.

EC: there is a risk tax reform will increase inequality

There is a risk that Latvian government’s proposed tax reform will increase income inequality in the country instead of lowering it, said head of European Commission’s office in Latvia Inna Steinbuka.

Electronic monitoring of convicts will help have nearly EUR 500,000 for Latvia

Latvian State Probation Service believes electronic monitoring of convicts proved itself. This system has helped save nearly EUR 500,000 for the state budget since 2015.

Grandson of Stalin, who dropped Soviet tyrant’s surname, has died

Russian theatre director Alexander Burdonsky, the grandson of the leader of Soviet Communist mass repressions, Josef Stalin, has died at the age of 75.