HELCOM launches an initiative to help improve Port Reception Facilities in the Baltic
Helsinki, 17 December (HELCOM Information Service) – HELCOM has established a Cooperation Platform on Port Reception Facilities in the Baltic Sea which will promote dialogue on the provision of adequate port reception facilities for sewage in passenger ports of the Baltic Sea among the key stakeholders. They include port organizations, shipping industry, especially cruise lines, maritime administrations of the coastal countries as well as water and wastewater utilities.
“The dialogue within the framework of this Cooperation Platform will facilitate the implementation of the HELCOM Road Map for upgrading Port Reception Facilities (PRF) for sewage in passenger ports, adopted by the HELCOM Moscow Ministerial Meeting in May 2010,” says Anne Christine Brusendorff, HELCOM’s Executive Secretary. “Upgrading of reception facilities, scheduled to be finalized by 2013, and 2015 at the latest, is a precondition for granting the Baltic Sea a Special Area status under Annex IV of the MARPOL Convention.”
According to the new regulations under Annex IV, approved by IMO this year, any discharge of sewage into the Special Area from a passenger ship will be prohibited unless the ship uses an approved sewage treatment plant capable to reduce nutrients according to the established concentration limits. Alternatively, untreated sewage could be delivered to a port reception facility. These new regulations have been proposed by the HELCOM countries to combat eutrophication which is the major environmental problem in the Baltic Sea.
The Platform’s aim is to exchange experience on good practices in planning, implementing and operating PRF for sewage, with a view to provide guidance on how to upgrade PRF in the prioritized ports to meet the needs of the relevant stakeholders and according to the IMO.
There are already three large passenger ports in the Baltic Sea: Stockholm, Helsinki and St. Petersburg, which serve as good examples on how PRF could be arranged, e.g. to receive large quantities of sewage from ships (fixed link to the sewerage system and treatment in the municipal wastewater treatment plant). Their experience could be shared with other ports in the Baltic Sea area. The Platform also aims at building partnerships to make necessary investments.
The Platform will particularly:
· Identify areas for improvement in port reception facilities based on the IMO Guidelines for ensuring the adequacy of port waste reception facilities. The lead country and organization on this issue are Poland and the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO).
· Build a common understanding on technical and operational aspects of sewage delivery to meet the needs of ports and shipping industry and in dialogue with municipalities. The lead country and organization on this issue are Sweden and WWF.
· Promote harmonized regional implementation of the “no-special-fee” system for sewage delivery and identify challenges in implementing the system.
· Follow developments of the technology for onboard sewage treatment to meet the new standards. The lead country on this issue is Germany.
Note to Editors:
The Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as the Helsinki Commission, or HELCOM, is an intergovernmental organization of all the nine Baltic Sea countries and the EU which works to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution.
HELCOM is the governing body of the "Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area," known as the Helsinki Convention.
For more information, please contact:
Ms. Monika Stankiewicz
Tel: +358 (0)40 8402471
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645
Mr. Nikolay Vlasov
Tel: +358 (0)46 8509196
Fax: +358 (0)207 412 645