While Ventspils City Council and Ventspils Freeport Authority publicly express their common requirement for VNT to build and operate a vapour recovery unit (VRU), Ventspils Freeport Authority has been failing to issue technical regulations for construction of the VRU for nine months. Such technical regulations are considered by VNT to be standard and publicly available documents, and are required to be considered in the engineering of the VRU which is at an advanced stage.
Ventspils Freeport Authority decided in January 2016, just after the announcement of VNT to build a VRU, to start the development of a stench reduction program and amend Ventspils Freeport regulations, which form the basis for the technical regulations. This effectively could have been done easily in previous years with ease and no pressure.
«At this moment VNT, representing the biggest transshipment company for oil products in the Baltics, contributing 70% of all liquid cargo in Ventspils port and 40% in Latvia, still is neither aware of the changes made to the Freeport regulations, any new requirements, nor the foreseen transition period to comply with new requirements. Moreover, VNT remains unaware when this information will finally be become available,» – explains Lars Pantzlaff, Managing Director of VNT.
At the same time, an article in local media (Ventas Balss, 21 September 2016 issue) clearly states that Ventspils City Council will issue amended Ventspils Freeport regulations as city binding regulations not later than on 31 May 2018. VNT wonders how it can be possible that apparently such information is available to other parties but not the company most affected.
VNT expressed its readiness to invest EUR 5 million into VRU a long time ago. The company remains ready to live up to this commitment. Regretfully, VNT cannot proceed with the project as planned until Ventspils Freeport Authority responds to its requests regarding the lease for the land plot where the VRU is planned to be built and issues technical regulations.
Although Ventspils Freeport Authority publicly promotes its intentions to implement measures to reduce stenches, reality is also that the amendments to Ventspils Freeport Regulations were developed without active involvement of Ventspils Freeport terminals, a common process of constructive dialogue among stakeholders. Furthermore Ventspils Freeport Authority pledged to communicate content and progress of the new Freeport Regulations to VNT, though this actually has never taken place and has made the entire process very non-transparent and concealed. VNT was only informed by Ventspils City Council on 30 June 2016 that VNT will be able to get acquainted with the amendments when they are approved.
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 transshipment 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.