Ventspils Naftas Terminalis, a subsidiary of Latvia's Ventspils Nafta oil holding, handled 1.2 million tons of oil products in the first two months of 2006 - 22.6 percent less than in the same period last year. Diesel fuel made up 800,000 tons of the total and various types of motor gasoline made up 400,000 tons. All cargo was shipped to the terminal by rail. Ventspils Nafta spokeswoman Gundega Varpa said that, in February, the terminal handled over 600,000 tons of oil products, or the same amount as in January. "Results were influenced by a growing demand for oil products in Russia's domestic market," Varpa said. Last year, the terminal handled 8.1 million tons of oil and oil products, down 300,000 tons or 3.6 percent from 2004.
Tallinn is planning to build a new, 185-room hotel in its port area by next spring. The project, commissioned by real estate developer C.H.P, is estimated to cost 200 million kroons (12.8 million euros). C.H.P. is owned by businessmen Aivar Tuulberg, Raivo Rand and Urmas Uustal and is managed through the subsidiaries Barclay Hotel and Paadi Elamu. The company also owns 50 percent of TOP Center in Tallinn's Pirita suburb. In 2004, C.H.P. earned a net profit of 60 million kroons.
The board of Riga Free Port agreed to invest some 6.5 million lats (9.2 million euros) in development this year, said spokesman Karlis Leiskalns. Aproximately 3.2 million lats will go toward ensuring operations, such as deepening the port's aquatorium, building several access roads and developing piers. The board has yet to decide on administrative funds, which would go toward constructing a new port-master's building and a pier for detained vessels. Riga Free Port is prepared to spend 3.4 million to 3.5 million lats on these projects. The terminal hopes to increase cargo volume by 20 million tons in two to three years, thus doubling turnover. The Port of Riga is Latvia's second largest by cargo turnover and largest by passenger turnover.
Estonia's northeastern town of Sillamae took the first step in building a liquid chemical terminal, which would be operated by the port itself. The town is currently conducting the environmental safety tests necessary for the terminal, which will have facilities for unloading various liquid chemicals, such as liquid fertilizers, mixtures of chemicals and ammonia. The terminal will also unload rail cars and keep commodities in large tanks for reloading. The tanks will hold up to 100,000 cubic meters in the first stage, and possibly 50,000 cubic meters in the future. This corresponds to a handling capacity of about 1.5 million tons a year.
Although the Gulf of Riga and Bay of Parnu are still under a thick cover of ice, the Port of Parnu in southwestern Estonia expects conditions to improve over the next couple of weeks. Harbormaster Riho Prints told the Baltic News Service that the ice has started to move little by little. The situation should improve within a week. The EVA-316, a buoy ship converted into an ice-breaker, is currently working to clear up the Port of Parnu. Eiki Orgmets, harbor master at the Port of Kunda, said ice conditions there were quite good.