bnn.lv Latviski   bnn-news.com English   bnn-news.ru По-русски
Saturday 01.10.2016 | Name days: Lāsma, Zanda, Zandis
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

Latvia has the eighth highest unemployment level in the European Union

In August, the highest unemployment level in the European Union was registered in Spain, where it reached 19.5%. Latvia’s unemployment level was 9.3% in August. It is the eighth highest among EU member states, according to data published by Eurostat on Friday.

Baltic States reach an agreement on Rail Baltica contract

The agreement on Rail Baltica project’s financing and completion conditions has been reached and signed in all three Baltic capitals, as Saeima’s European Affairs Committee was told by Chairperson of RB Rail Baiba Rubesa.

Lithuanian MPs overturn contentious law ID’ing all booze buyers

After a fortnight of grocery retailers’ mandatory carding, Lithuanian lawmakers gave in to the angry alcohol buyers’ demand to repeal the order and passed this week an amendment that now requires sellers to ID only those alcohol buyers who seem to be underage.

WADA adds meldonium to the list of banned substances in 2017

The World Anti-Doping Agency has published its list of banned substances for 2017. Meldonium, developed in Latvia, will remain on this list.

Weekends expected to be rainy in Latvia; next week to be especially cold

A new cyclone will reach Latvia on Sunday. It will bring with it strong rain. After that, an anti-cyclone will reach Latvia on Tuesday. Strong northern wind will carry over colder masses of air to the country, as reported by Latvian State Environmental, Geology and Meteorology Centre.

10% increase in visitor numbers expected for Riga’s hotels

In 2016, hotels and other places of accommodation in Riga could experience a 10% increase in the number of visitors when compared to 2015, says manager of Riga’s Tourism Development Bureau Vita Jermolovica.

Russian proposal to ban baby boxes gains government backing

A proposal to ban baby boxes in Russia has gained the backing of the federal government but is facing sharp criticism.

Government approves Start-up Operation Support Law draft

On Thursday, 29 September, Latvian government approved Economy Ministry’s proposed draft for Start-up Operation Support Law to support and regulate operations of so-called start-up companies.

Swiss engineering firm ABB expands in Estonia

Swiss engineering system manufacturer ABB group will launch its new regional business service centre in Tallinn in October.

EUR 15,017 donated for infertility treatment programme in Latvia

To help finance infertility treatment programme, charity campaign organized by Butterfly Effect association in cooperation with Elvi and EGV Clinic has raised EUR 15,017 since the beginning of 2016.

Study: counterfeit medicine causes major losses for EU

Because of counterfeit medicine, the legal medical industry in Europe loses EUR 10 billion every year, which accounts for 4.4% of the entire trade volume of the pharmacy sector, as concluded in the latest European Union Intellectual Property Office study about counterfeit medicine and its effect on economies of EU member states.

«Death» shows support to UGF’s work in government during doctors’ protest

The protest act organized by Latvian Health and Social Care Workers Union near the Saeima gathered 300 to 350 people.

U.S. warns Russia about bombing of besieged Syrian city

The U.S. has warned Russia that Washington would stop cooperation with Moscow in Syria if Moscow would not stop the bombardment of besieged Aleppo.

Latvia supports Kristalina Georgieva as candidate for UN Secretary General post

Latvia supports EC Vice-President Kristalina Georgieva as a candidate for the post of UN Secretary General, as confirmed by Foreign Affairs Minister Edgars Rinkevics.

Aseradens: decline of electricity prices expected in Latvia

If reforms are successfully realized in the electrical energy market, Latvia may experience a decline in electricity prices, as announced by Economy Minister Arvils Aseradens.

MH17 investigators: Missile came from Russia, was shot from rebel-held territory

The Dutch-led international team of prosecutors stated on September 28 that it has found that the missile with which passenger plane on flight MH17 was downed in 2014 over eastern Ukraine was shot from territory held by pro-Kremlin separatists.

Politicians forget about transit industry as a source of income for state budget

Politicians and the public regularly discuss the lack of budget funds to afford improvements for healthcare, education, law enforcement. New taxes and new ways of adding money to the state chancellery are sought left and right. They forget that transit has always been a stable source of income for Latvia, Vesti Segodnya writes.

Study: most girls and half of boys in Riga do not tie their future to exact sciences

73.5% of girls and 49.1% of boys in Riga do not see their future associated with exact sciences, according to results of Jaunieši IT study carried out in Riga’s schools.

Businessmen: faster adoption of e-procurements system would benefit competition

To ensure more transparent procurements, businessmen urge government to introduce an electronic procurement system as soon as possible. This system is expected to ensure honest competition and help resolve other problems that are often present in state and municipal procurements.

President: KNAB supervisory institutions should explain the loss of classified documents

Institutions that supervise the Corruption Prevention and Combating Bureau have to determine the cause behind the loss of classified documents, as announced by Latvian President Raimonds Vejonis.

Data on students and graduates to be compiled for more effective budget planning

To help develop the State Education Information System, it is planned to expand one of its sections by creating a register for students and graduates. This is provided by amendments to the Law on Institutions of Higher Education supported by the Cabinet of Ministers.

Global trade growth slowing, WTO

The World Trade Organisation has this week released an altered forecast for the global trade growth for 2016, which, comparing to its previous forecast for the same period has been cut by over a third.

Latvia resettles 82 people as part of EU refugee programme

Today, 28 September, nine people were transported to Latvia from Greece as part of the European Union’s resettlement programme, as LETA was informed by the Office for Citizenship and Migration Affairs.

August’s construction costs declined by 0.4% in Latvia

Compared to July, the level of construction costs in Latvia dropped by 0.4% in August 2016. Prices of building materials decreased by 0.8%, maintenance and operational costs of machinery and equipment reduced by 0.1%, whereas labour remuneration of workers did not witness any significant changes.

One-third of state institutions to not have to report data on employees’ remuneration

On Tuesday, 27 September, the Latvian government accepted amendments to the Law on Remuneration of Officials and Employees of State and Self-government Authorities that relieve 233 state institutions from the duty to report information about remuneration of their employees.