TALLINN - The construction work on the new oil terminal of leading Russian oil company
LUKoil, which began one year ago, is proceeding very rapidly in Vysotsk.
Some 3,500 workers and hundreds of machines are currently building the
terminal, which should receive its first tankers as soon as December.
LUKoil has rejected all suspicions regarding the safety of the project.
According to LUKoil director Sergey Kiselev, environmental concerns and the
safety of tanker traffic have been taken into account, and all permits
required by Russian environmental legislation have been obtained.
Kiselev maintained that all tankers that will be allowed to sail to the
terminal must be double-hulled, and reinforced for winter ice conditions.
"The vessels will fulfill all the requirements proposed in the Baltic Marine
Environment Protection Commission," Kiselev said.
Vessels of 50,000 tons will be able to access the Vysotsk oil terminal at
the outset, but later on, the channel will be deepened for tankers of up to
Sea traffic safety will be improved once Russia joins the international
vessel traffic services (VTS) system. Also, a new system of dividing routes
in the Gulf of Finland will be adopted in July.
The Russian Ministry of Transportation plans to build a VTS tower for vessel
traffic surveillance in Vysotsk. Combined with the two other Russian VTS
stations, the surveillance will cover the entire Gulf of Finland.
Oil spill response personnel for Vysotsk are already being trained at the
Primorsk oil terminal. Kiselev emphasized the significance of prevention,
but added that new oil recovery systems were under investigation at the