DEPUTIES TO REMOVE OIL TERMINAL FROM PEREVOZNAYA
By Anatoly Lebedev, BROC, Vladivostok
People’s Deputy Commission on Economy of Primorsky Krai Legislature conducted at March 14 hearings on the matter of location for the marine terminal of Siberia-Pacific oil pipeline. The issue was based upon very doubtful perception of the Russian governmental decree, passed at December, 31, designated to start research activity in Perevoznaya Bay on the project and construction of this pipeline. Being presented by the Deputy Alexander Perednya, running one of the new prosper fishing companies, the issue had been initiated by the group of citizens of Khasan Municipality, feeling trouble with regards to the upcoming and scientifically guarranteed oil spills and disasters to the unique endangered environment.
As it was announced by the local environmental and governmental experts, selection of Perevoznaya had been done without any clear reasons amongst other alternatives and, particularly, without any public assessment. Although all set of dangers to the recreational and conservation area of high value here, as well as to Vladivostok itself, is justifyed by many documents, expert conclusions and protocols, seemed to be nignored by the government and designing body. Among the key points, highlighted on the hearings, some were quite radical. Although the issue has a long history of about 50 years, it is a full economic deadlock to invest that huge money into transfer a crude oil over 4000 km and put a vast pristine amd protected forest lands of South Siberia and RFE to the inavoidable risk of disastrous designated contamination. Besides, as it was openly recognized by the administration’s spokesman Vladimir Simonenok, none comparatively estimated economic and social advantages from the intensive fisheries and recreational use of the area of sand beaches and wild islands, already designated to become recreational cemter for the whole Far East and Asia-Pacific, and currently playing this role with much bigger number of local jobs, than pipeline may present.
By some experts in marine navigation, Perevoznaya is the worst possible selection for the super tankers’ navigation, while formerly discussed and much more reasonable points as Chazhma Bay and Nakhodka were not really analysed in the investment justification stage of the project.
Serguei Moninetz, Director of the Marine Defense Institute, Marine University, guarranteed, that huge tankers’ navigation around terminal, forvarded to the Amurski gulf by more than 1 km will challange oil spills, catastrophic for all the areas and countries around Sea of Japan. To the other hand, Vladimir Simonenok announced, that selection had been done by the group of independent experts, and is based on the need to have enough flat space to allocate oil storage tanks. As to Chazhma, he said, naval officials in Moscow rejected that opportunity some years ago. But, as Alexander Perednya commented, project authours should try more, considering all the last changes in governmental structure.
Resultively, deputies of this commission desided to bring the issue under scrutiny of the whole Primorsky Legislature and with a goal to pass a messages to the governor Darkin, company “Transneft” and federal government to urgently revise the point of location oil shipping terminal. It seemed at the same time, that idea of total unreasonability of the whole pipeline project and suggestion to turn local development back to local resource use and processing, including intensive recreation industry, was ignored by the commission Chairman. Myth of the easy oil transfer revenues to local budget is strong and live despite the common conviction that designated terminal will be the property of acting governor Darkin and his close surrounding.
Currently engineering study at Perevoznaya is already going, and none pointed out on the hearings, that it is not concerned to pipeline project at all: there is absolutely new idea of railroad oil terminal, getting secretly under scrutiny without any public discussion and expertise.