bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Monday 11.12.2017 | Name days: Valdis, Voldemārs, Valdemārs
LatviaLatvia

VNT: there is a serious difference between theory and reality about doing business in Ventspils

FaceBook
Twitter
Draugiem
print
(No Ratings Yet)

Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RURecently 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.

As previously reported, the information publicly announced by Ventspils Freeport Authority about VNT’s activities related to the conclusion of the contract on a lease of the land plot for installation of the Vapour Recovery Unit (VRU) and the invitation for VNT to participate in the development of the Freeport Regulations does not reflect the real situation.

VNT reminds that on February 22 VNT and JSC Ventbunkers submitted a joint application for the direct lease of the land plot in the area of jetties intended for the installation of the permanent VRU to the Ventspils Freeport Authority for the review.

In its first reply, Ventspils Freeport Authority informed VNT that the matter will be discussed during one of the upcoming meetings of Ventspils Freeport Board. However, on 12 April, VNT received a letter from Ventspils Freeport Authority stating that due to the arrest of JSC Ventbunkers shares in 2008 it cannot decide upon the joint application until this matter is settled in the legal manner.

Taking this into account, VNT addressed the criminal court board of Riga Regional Court on 26 April and received its ruling on 10 May. The ruling stated that Ventspils Freeport Authority has the right and authority to make any decisions related to the land plot in its possession and leased to JSC Ventbunkers.

VNT informed BNN that on 13 May, VNT submitted the document issued by the criminal court board of Riga Regional Court to Ventspils Freeport Authority, although Ventspils Freeport Authority should have requested and received this court resolution itself if doubting its rights or authority to decide upon the land plot possessed by Ventspils Freeport which would have saved significant time in the process.

For years, Ventspils City Council and Ventspils Freeport Authority have been continuously emphasizing to VNT the need to install a VRU. However, VNT has not seen either Ventspils City Council or Ventspils Freeport Authority showing any urgency to amend the Freeport regulations and include new requirements as to the VRU installation. Sudden urgency occurred only after VNT had publicly announced its firm plans to build the permanent VRU by November 2017.

In February 2016, Ventspils Freeport Authority invited Ventspils Freeport operators, also VNT, to participate in a meeting as to the plan of Ventspils Freeport to develop a smell reduction program considering the problem of smells during the loading of petroleum products.

During the initial meeting on February 4, Ventspils Freeport Authority assured the port terminals that they will be updated on progress related to this subject. As a follow-up, one week later, VNT was visited by the consultancy firm, appointed by Ventspils Freeport Authority, to gather further information for its research work. VNT emphasizes it has not received further invitations to any other meetings on this subject and was not aware of three meetings taking place, the company said.

Since February 2016, despite several inquiries by VNT as to the progress of the development of the program, regretfully no information regarding this subject has been shared by Ventspils Freeport Authority with VNT.

VNT stressed that that on 27 May, Ventspils Freeport Authority proposed to Ventspils City Council to make amendments to the Ventspils binding regulations No 9 «Ventspils Freeport Regulations» of 2 March 2012, without approaching VNT during the development of the regulations, even though for already six months VNT has been trying to receive answers in connection with its efforts to install a temporary and permanent VRU.

After the amendments to the Freeport Regulations were passed by Ventspils Freeport Authority on 27 May, VNT asked Ventspils City Council on 8 June to share the content of the document with VNT. On 30 June Ventspils City Council informed VNT that the draft amendments are still under the review, pending confirmation, and that the regulations would be available on the municipal webpage as soon as the final wording is developed.

VNT provides transit services – receipt, storage and handling of crude oil and petroleum products that come by pipelines, rail tank cars and tankers. VNT is a technologically advanced terminal and the largest crude oil and petroleum products transhipment company in the Baltic States with a total tank capacity of 1.2 million cubic meters. 51% of VNT is owned by JSC Ventspils nafta, which is one of the largest business groups in Latvia. JSC Ventspils nafta is the group’s parent company, which manages the investments in group companies, contributing to the total value and appreciation of each individual company.

Ref: 102.109.109.6879


Leave a reply

Riga’s Vice-Mayor denies Ainars Šlesers acted as his «task master»

Vice-Mayor of Riga and chairman of Riga Freeport Andris Ameriks denied during a meeting of the Saeima’s Investigative Committee on Monday, 11 December, that former politician Ainārs Šlesers acted as his «task master».

Foreign trade turnover in Latvia up 10.3% in October

In October 2017, Latvian foreign trade turnover amounted to EUR 2.31 billion, which at current prices was 10.3 % more than in October 2016, of which the exports value of goods was 9.7 % and imports value of goods was 10.9 % higher.

Businessmen: labour force deficit already exists; foreign students should be integrated in labour market

61.2% of businessmen in Latvia already experience problems with finding qualified workers. More than one-fifth of them expect difficulties in the near future. 79.7% of interviewed entrepreneurs said they support the idea of integrating foreign students in Latvia’s labour market, as concluded in data from a survey performed by Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), interviewing 225 businessmen.

Commissioner: EC offers support to member states that wish to join Eurozone

European Commission offers additional support to EU member states that wish to join Eurozone, says EC Vice-President for Euro and Social Dialogue Valdis Dombrovskis.

Estonia to continue five school break schedule until 2021

Estonian Ministry of Education and Research has arrived at and published the dates of school breaks for three school years to come and has promised uphold its new system of five breaks instead of the historical schedule of four.

How much does violence against women cost Latvia?

The costs associated with partners’ violence against women in Latvia reach EUR 442 million a year, says Welfare Ministry’s Child and Family Policy Department’s senior expert Viktorija Boļšakova with reference to data from European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE).

De Facto: company responsible for Rail Baltica project involved in a fraud case

The company owned by the new head of Eiropas Dzelzceļa līnijas Andris Linužs is involved in a criminal process regarding fraud and document forging when receiving state funding for procurement of wind turbines. The committee that picked Linužs for the important post was not aware of this fact, as reported by De Facto programme of LTV.

French salmonella outbreak prompts recall of Lactalis baby milk formula

Baby milk powder producer Lactalis in France has made an international recall of its produce marketed globally under the Milumel, Picot and Celi brands after a salmonella outbreak in France.

Mayor of Riga: New Hanza business quarter to improve city’s development

During his visit to New Hanza business and residence quarter, Chairman of Riga City Council Nils Ušakovs said that every project of this kind improves the quality of life in the city, create new space for apartments and offices, jobs and public-access buildings, as well as pull up the quality of life in surrounding territories.

«European Oscars» dominated by satire drama «The Square»

The awards of the European Film Academy have been given to laureates at a ceremony in Berlin on December 9, where the joint production of Sweden, Germany, France and Denmark «The Square» dominated with six awards.

7.3% less cigarettes exported from Latvia in nine months of 2017

In the first nine months of 2017, roughly 1.9 billion cigarettes were exported from Latvia to other countries, which is 7.3% less when compared with the same period of 2016, according to State Revenue Service’s data compiled on excise goods circulation.

Weather in Latvia to be windy; air temperature to reach +9° C

On Monday, 11 December, air temperature in Latvia will be at -3° C… +2° C. It is expected to be somewhat warmer along the coast, however. Some precipitation will be present, as reported by State Environment, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

Ukrainian police detains Georgian ex-President Saakashvili

Police in Ukraine has over the weekend detained the ex-President of Georgia Mikheil Saakashvili on the same week, when a crowd of his supporters released him from a police vehicle.

Week in Lithuania. Vilnius mayor apologises for poor performance of road services

Vilnius Mayor Remigijus Šimašius has admitted that the road services of the Lithuanian capital city were not efficient enough in their response to the weather conditions, apologising to Vilnius residents for the inconveniences they encountered due to traffic interruptions.

BNN summary of the week: kebab industry’s fears, insiders in anti-corruption bureau, and Latvia’s crumbling roads

BNN offers a summary of this week’s topical news in a variety of categories: Fight; Fear; Opinion; Confusion; Truth.

Farmers Saeima: if Latvia does not ease rules for guest workers, there won’t be any workers

During a meeting of the Food Industry Council, the biggest discussions were raised about the matter regarding the lack of labour force in agriculture and food processing companies. On top of that, farmers are confused over Economy Ministry’s proposed solution, saying that it is too far from reality.

Ex-deputy chief of anti-corruption bureau: I have no doubt the prime minister and president dance to Lembergs’ tune

«For ten year now Aivars Lembergs has been under the ban to perform duties as chairman of Ventspils City Council. And for the same period of time Lembergs and state officials have been ignoring this ban. Environment Protection and Regional Development Minister Kaspars Gerhards, who is responsible for supervising municipalities and is very well-informed of the truce power centre, which, unfortunately, is not Latvian citizens as it is stated in the country’s Constitution, goes to visit Lembergs, not Ventspils. He does that to demonstrate his fealty to the ruler as he would if we lived in the Middle Ages,» says politician from New Conservative Party, councillor of Riga city Council and former deputy chief of Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau Juta Strīķe.

Average consumer price level up 2.7% in Latvia

During 2017, the average level of consumer prices rose by 2.7 % when compared with last year. Prices of goods grew by 2.7 % and prices of services by 2.9 %.

Updated: MEPs move against allowing phosphates in kebab meat said to endanger massive industry

As the European Parliament plans to vote on vetoing European Commission's proposal to allow phosphates, used to keep seasoned kebab meat moist and aromatic, the industry considers it a threat event to the existence of meat in the popular fast food.

Prime Minister: new step is made to stimulate Latvian-Japanese cooperation

A new step has been made towards stimulating cooperation between Latvia and Japan in political and economic field. Latvia is not large enough for our businesses to focus solely on the domestic market. Our country has a rapidly-growing economy with a free market ready to make major steps towards transnational cooperation, said Prime Minister of Latvia Māris Kučinskis during his visit in Tokyo.

Theatre critic: there is historic importance in people’s trust of television

«Pop-culture’s influence over society should be viewed from two different perspectives. First of all, it is important to consider how society affects popular culture – what we see or hear at least partially reflects the modern society. Secondly, if created products turn out very influential, they inspire people and shift their thought processes or behaviour one way or another. This is because new and exciting products that have never existed until now, products that are considered marginal,» said theatre critic and Assistant Professor of Social Sciences Faculty of the University of Latvia Zane Radzobe.

MEP: Soviet Union’s activities in occupied countries are not discussed openly

Even to this day Soviet Union’s activities in occupied countries are not discussed openly and loudly, said member of the European Parliament Inese Vaidere at the presentation of the English translation of the book ‘Damage Caused to the Baltics by the Soviet Union’ in Brussels.

Expert: data importance will only increase in the digital transformation era

«Technologies are the driving force behind the development of all sectors in the 21st century. They affect our everyday lives and Latvia’s future development. We cannot afford to stop now. We have to continue developing innovations and creativity on all levels,» said Latvian President Raimonds Vējonis during the annual conference organized by Information and Communication Technologies Association.

Estonia in OSCE urges Russia to meet international standards in Ukraine

Estonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sven Mikser, draw attention to support of Ukrainian territorial integrity and the protection of human rights, as he addressed fellow foreign ministers at the meeting of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Vienna this week.

Emotional debates break out in Saeima in regards to automatic access to state secrets

During the last meeting, very emotional debates in regards to automatic issue of access to official secrets were held. Proposals were voiced both in support of this and against. The proposal was declined in the end.