One of the holding’s most important social tasks is taking care of employee health and preserving a favorable environment in its companies’ operating area. The environmental programs and nature protection activities of UCL Holding are implemented in strict conformity with the current legislation and are aimed at:
- ensuring the rational use of natural resources and improvement of production waste management;
- the implementation of comprehensive measures to reduce the burden on the ecosystem and minimize all forms of pollution;
- the construction of a new fleet that meets modern requirements of environmental safety and fuel consumption;
- reorientation of stevedoring assets located within cities to safe and highly profitable cargoes.
REDUCING THE IMPACT ON THE ECOSYSTEM
Many stevedoring companies of the holding are located within cities, so a set of measures to reduce the companies’ impact on the ecosystem is implemented, studies of the atmosphere, water and land resources are regularly conducted at the ports.
The Environmental service of the Sea Port of St. Petersburg regularly monitors the quality of surface waste water and air, the condition of waste disposal places, places of temporary storage of waste and frequency of its removal, performs systematic monitoring of compliance with the rules and requirements of environmental and sanitary legislation.
In 2012, the Sea Port of St. Petersburg completed the modernization of the port’s heating system, which allowed to stop the use of fuel oil boilers and to reduce emissions by 24% by 2015 .
The environmental burden is further reduced by the use of the latest scientific and technical developments in the field of waste disposal. As a result of the actions taken over the last two years the volume of emissions per ton decreased by 18% and the volume of enterprise’s waste water decreased by 34%. In general, the volumes of emissions from controlled sources do not exceed the statutory maximum permissible emission levels.
Another company, CJSC "KTSP", carries out a series of measures for the protection of water resources, including regular monitoring of coastal zone use, cleaning and waste water quality monitoring, monitoring of water quality in the port water area, bacteriological tests of sea water. Maintenance and repair works are carried out at wastewater treatment facilities, storm drains sewage pumping stations, the external storm sewer system is being thoroughly cleaned. For its wastewater treatment facilities KTSP uses the latest sorption filters.
Environmental monitoring stations have been established at the port of Tuapse. Having a built-in automatic weather station and tools for measuring the levels of priority pollutants, the environmental stations provide round the clock monitoring of air quality during production activities and provide an opportunity to respond quickly if the maximum permissible emission levels are exceeded or in the event of adverse weather conditions within the scope of the approved action plan to regulate emissions.
As part of a package of measures aimed at reducing the impact on the environment, specialists of the industrial laboratory of the Taganrog port regularly take a number of measurements of air samples, perform instrumental control of the composition and volume of emissions during loading and unloading operations, monitor and control the quality of sea water, carry out maintenance of the equipment for the collection and treatment of surface water, perform the coastal zone screening. When handling the production waste, the Taganrog port complies with all the necessary sanitary and epidemiological requirements. In particular, in connection with the entry into force of the order of the Government of the Russian Federation "On the procedure for certification of waste of danger classes I - IV", 34 certificates for danger class I - IV waste were reissued. In addition, the port of Taganrog has developed a project for the assessment of general environmental impact in connection with the operation of the oil processing complex, which is necessary to subsequently establishment a plan for localization and liquidation of accidental oil spills at the oil loading terminal.
NOISE REDUCTION AND DUST SUPPRESSION
Particular attention is paid to mitigating noise and dust pollution of areas adjacent to the ports. Thus, a unique dust suppression system was built in the port of Tuapse. Each of the six water cannons creates a water curtain with a radius of 150 meters. They are installed directly at the coal storage areas and allow to reduce dust spreading by 80%. A similar system was installed in the port of Taganrog.
A 6 m high dust and sound protection screen, never before seen in any Russian port, constructed along the Tuapse port boundaries and passing along the north-eastern border of the back area of the dry cargo zone of OJSC “Tuapse Sea Commercial Port” and the north-eastern boundary of the industrial site of OJSC “Tuapse Ship Repair Yard”, allowed to reduce such harmful factors as the content in the ambient air of inorganic dust by 20% and the noise level by 25% according to the results of monitoring on the border of the sanitary protection zone over the last 2 years under the production control program.
During the warm seasons of the year in order to prevent dust formation from coal handling operations and cleaning operations at the open warehouse platforms for bulk cargo storage, a special dust suppression system is used at the port of Taganrog, which systematically provides water irrigation at the site where such works are carried out and in the adjacent territory.
In 2015, a dust suppression system was installed at the Multipurpose Reloading Complex in the Ust-Luga port. The equipment is placed where the most intense works are carried out, and has a remote control station, which allows to remotely adjust the angle of the water flow depending on the wind direction and strength.
REMOVAL OF HAZARDOUS FACILITIES
The terminals of the Sea Port of Saint Petersburg were switched over to environmentally safe and more profitable cargoes.
In particular, in 2008 a motor car terminal was built in the third cargo area in the place of a terminal for the transshipment of round timber that used to have obsolete production equipment. This allowed to substantially reduce the use of heavy trucks on the port access roads and to significantly improve the environmental situation in the areas adjacent to the port.
In 2010, a modern and environmentally safe terminal for container handling was put into operation in the fourth area of the port in the place of outdated coal handling facilities.
Also, in 2010, two reefer warehouses using ammonia coolant were demolished in the second cargo area of the port
All new vessels being built to the orders of UCL Holding meet all modern requirements in terms of environmental safety and fuel consumption.
As part of the renovation project for the VBTH cargo fleet and, in particular, its dry cargo vessels, special attention is paid to the implementation of technologies that ensure that all vessels being constructed comply with the highest environmental standards. Thus, when designing RSD 44 vessels for the Volga Shipping Company a double bottom and double sides were used along the entire length of the cargo holds and fuel, oil and sewage tanks, which allow for easy loading and unloading of cargoes, a high operational reliability of the vessel, as well as guarantee the safety of the environment and a reduction of risks associated with environmental pollution in the area of operation of the vessel.
As of January 1, 2015, in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention for the Protection of the Environment (MARPOL 73/78), all the vessels of the North-Western Shipping Company only use fuels with low sulfur content.
The oil fleet of "V.F.Tanker" is being renewed in accordance with the requirements of the International Convention for the Prevention of Water Pollution, according to which as of 2015 the height of the second bottom on all tankers operated on inland waterways should be such that would allow to prevent any oil spills if the hull is damaged. In order to avoid negative environmental impacts associated with the human factor in the operation of vessels, the new fleet is equipped with a modern AUT1 class computer automated control system fully compliant with the Convention's environmental requirements.
When designing the vessels, special requirements of Russian and world oil companies, additional environmental limitations of the "ECO PROJECT (ECO-S) class of the Russian Maritime Registry of Shipping were taken into account.
At the Tuapse port, an environmental fleet of 6 specialized vessels is operating, including, the state-of-the-art environmental vessel - the oil skimmer "Sirius", acquired in 2013, which allows to ensure that the harbor waters are protected from the possible consequences of emergencies and is responsible for the localization and liquidation of oil spills.