Eleven months after the initial announcement of plans to install a vapour recovery unit, Ventspils nafta terminals has decided to commence construction of the unit on leased territory on Talsu Street 75.
The reason for this decision lies in major delays from Ventspils Freeport Authority and its lack of support in the matter regarding the 600 m2 large piece of land located on Ventbunkers’ territory, where it was initially planned to build the vapour recovery unit, as BNN was informed by VNT.
As it is known, VNT tried to clarify the matter in regards to the application jointly submitted with Ventbunkers to Ventspils Freeport Authority on 22 February. This application detailed the use of the 600 m2 piece of land for the construction of the vapour recovery unit. Unfortunately, accomplishments of Ventspils Freeport authority since then are negligible. Ventspils Freeport Authority replied to regular questions asked by VNT by saying that the matter would be viewed on one of the future meetings.
On 12 April 2016, Ventspils Freeport Authority began paying attention to the decision made by the Prosecutor General’s Office on 23 January 2008 in regards to the arrest of VBU shares. Although there was no direct relation with the land lease matter, VNT was provided with an opinion from Riga Regional Court at the beginning of May 2016. Ventspils Freeport Authority confirmed its reception on 24 May 2016.
All of the information requested from Ventspils Freeport Authority was provided. With that, VNT asked the matter regarding vapour recovery unit to be included in the meeting of Ventspils Freeport Authority on 20 May. The date of this meeting was later changed multiple times. At first FNT was invited to take part in the meeting but no invitations were provided for any other meetings. Ventspils Freeport Authority finally organized a meeting on 27 May. At first, the vapour recovery unit matter was part of the agenda, but it was later excluded.
On 4 July, Ventspils Freeport Authority asked VNT to mark the location for the vapour recovery unit in accordance with the information provided in the application, even though the exact coordinated had already been provided. After complying with the request, VNT asked Ventspils Freeport Authority to review and finally make a decision on the vapour recovery unit matter at the closest meeting in August 2016. The meeting was held on 2 September, and the matter was once again excluded from the meeting’s agenda, VNT explains.
On 16 September, Vetnspis Freeport Authority informed VNT of its plans to inspect the piece of land and its surrounding territory and that this task is planned to be concluded in November. Only once Ventspils Freeport Authority has finalized its opinion will it be decided on at a meeting. Because results of this inspection have to be analysed and prepared for Ventspils Freeport Authority, there is reason to believe the authority may fail to review the matter before the end of the year. It is likely that this matter will not be resolved sooner than January 2017.
Because of delays with the realization of the vapour recovery unit project, VNT is unable to attract new cargoes for Ventspils port and secure stable cargo flow. The company is also denied the opportunity to invest in efforts aimed at raising environmental standards and welfare of Ventspils residents, VNT reports.
Because VNT had not expected this process to take so long and be this bureaucratically complicated, the company has decided to relocate construction of the vapour recovery unit to Talsu Street 75. Although the alternative if less beneficial, as the project needs to be adapted to the new location, vapour recovery unit’s function and overall technology will remain unchanged.
VNT has commenced cooperation with authorities and has submitted a request to them to be provided with technical requirements to be followed in the project’s realization. The project’s realization will also require the same amount of cooperation between VBU and VNT as was agreed upon at the end of 2015. Because a lot of time has been wasted because of bureaucratic procedures, it is not yet possible to estimate the possible final data for the project’s realization. The project depends on permits and coordination with third parties.