Thursday, March 28, 2013

BSR InnoShip roundtable in the Baltic Sea Day, St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg hosted the XIV International Environmental Forum “Baltic Sea Day” on the 20-22nd of March, which gathered over 600 participants from the HELCOM member countries. 

This year a lot of special attention was paid to international projects and initiatives which make input for fulfillment of international commitments. As BSR InnoShip (Baltic Sea cooperation for reducing ship and port emissions through knowledge- & innovation-based competitiveness) has had close and successful co-operation with the City of St. Petersburg in implementing the project actions, this year we had a chance to host an own roundtable session during the Baltic Sea Day.

Mr. Dmitry Frank-Kamenetsky presenting
the emission measurements around
the city of St.Petersburg
The topics discussed concentrated mostly on the main outputs of the project, presenting a cause and effect –chain. The Meteorological Institute of Finland submitted AIS-data about ship traffic and emissions collected between the years 2006-2011, from which it could easily be defined that although the traffic on the Baltic Sea is increasing, it is also highly affected by the dominant economic situation. The actual negative impacts of emissions were discussed on a Pan-Baltic level, but also more regionally by the examples from the measurements around the area of St. Petersburg. Also some new technologies for diesel engine exhaust treatment (e.g. a combined DBD reactor-catalyst assembly) were introduced.

During all discussions in both the Baltic Sea Day and BSR InnoShip roundtable it became clear, that the attitudes towards emission restrictions from shipping are still somewhat different around the Baltic Sea area. Although the IMO regulations are ratified widely, the attitudes vary from east to west – as the western part sees also possibilities in the regulations, the east is more worried about the negative economic influences and modal shift. A more explicit guidance for implementing the regulations is needed from the governmental level especially in Russia.

The St. Petersburg flood prevention facility complex

In connection to a project partner meeting, BSR InnoShip partners also had an opportunity for a site visit at the St. Petersburg Dam. The dam is originally built for protecting the city from storm surges, and it separates the Neva Bay from the rest of the Gulf of Finland. The principles of all functions were presented to us by local employees. The dam also serves other important functions, as there are numerous wastewater treatment plants around the dam for cleaning the water in Neva Bay. As one of the greatest construction projects in Russia, the sight was really impressive.

So, this time the BSR InnoShip partners had the pleasure of enjoying the Russian hospitality and had also a glimpse of the beauty of the city – St. Petersburg is definitely a place to visit!

Author: Mia Hytti, project coordinator, BSR InnoShip project

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