Reconstruction at the Company B.L.B. Baltijas termināls Will Reduce the Spread of Bad Odours in the Vicinity of the Port of Riga

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Today, November 16, the Board of the Freeport of Riga adopted a decision to accept the activities planned by the company B.L.B Baltijas termināls JSC: reconstruction of the petroleum products handling and storage terminal and the construction of a new railway scaffold bridge for the discharge of heavy petroleum products from tanker-cars. The decision of the Board determines that activities are to be carried out according to the Environmental Impact Assessment Report and conditions set in the opinion of the State Environmental Bureau.  The modernisation of B.L.B. Baltijas termināls JSC is aimed at improving the effectiveness and competitiveness of the company’s operations, as well as at significantly reducing the environmental impact of its operations.

The receipt, temporary storage and dispatch of petroleum products is already carried out at the petroleum products handling terminal of B.L.B. Baltijas termināls JSC. The total permitted volume of handled petroleum products is 5.1 million tons per year. During the reconstruction, no decrease in the volume of handled petroleum products is planned; however, a modern system for the collection and treatment of petroleum vapour (cargo exhalations control system) will be installed at the terminal and new equipment for the treatment of rainwater contaminated with petroleum products will be constructed. The main benefit from the reconstruction of the terminal, which the inhabitants of port’s surroundings will feel in Jaunmīlgrāvis, Sarkandaugava, Vecmīlgrāvis and Mežaparks, will be a significant decrease in the spread of bad odours, which will be ensured by the operation of the new vapour collection equipment. Works are planned to be completed by 2019.

Within the framework of the reconstruction project at B.L.B. Baltijas termināls, it is planned to dismantle the horizontal reservoirs for the storage of petroleum products and install 3 new vertical reservoirs with the total capacity of 24,000 m3. A new scaffold bridge for discharging heavy petroleum products from tanker-cars will be constructed as well. The new scaffold bridge will be equipped with vapour collection devices, which will ensure a significant contribution to reducing the spread of bad odours, since exhalations of petroleum products and disturbing bad odours can occur during the discharge of petroleum products from tanker-cars at this terminal. Following the reconstruction, B.L.B. Baltijas termināls will be the first petroleum products handling company in the Baltics which will use the cargo exhalations control system in handling heavy petroleum products (fuel oil, bitumen, vacuum gas oil). In handling refined petroleum products (petrol, diesel, petroleum), vapour collection equipment is used much more widely around the world, since products are more volatile, evaporate more quickly and cause greater air pollution. 

The company B.L.B. Baltijas termināls JSC has already introduced various technologies to limit emissions of petroleum vapour and prevent harmful substances and bad odours from ending up in air. Benzene concentration measurements are constantly performed at 3 monitoring points, and over the years of observations, air quality standards for human health protection have never been exceeded. Since 2014, 3 monitoring stations of electro-chemical, metal-oxide and photo-ionisation detectors — “electronic noses” — were installed at the company to measure the concentration of bad odours. At the beginning of 2017, one of these monitoring stations was moved from the border of the company’s territory to the territory of the Ozo Golf Club in order to assess the spread of bad odours within the territory where inhabitants permanently reside. The bad odour monitoring system allows online monitoring of changes in the concentration of bad odours and, if necessary, carrying out activities at the company to reduce emissions of bad odours. The number of cases of disturbing bad odours is declining; however, as of yet it was impossible to completely eliminate the spread of bad odours. Planned reconstruction works and the construction of a modern cargo exhalation control system will ensure a much more significant contribution to the reduction of bad odours both within the port territory and in the port’s surroundings.  

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