Riga Ropax Terminal, in cooperation with the Riga Freeport Authority as project lead partner, the Port of Stockholm, the Port of Klaipeda, the City of Stockholm and the Vismar University of Applied Sciences, Technology, Business and Design, has submitted an application to the Interreg Baltic Sea Region Transnational Cooperation Programme. The aim is to obtain funding to carry out research on reducing the ecological footprint of passenger and ro-ro terminals in the city centre in three ports - Riga, Klaipeda and Stockholm - by studying air, sound and wastewater pollution.
If the submitted project is approved and funded, not only would appropriate studies be carried out in the ports concerned, but also simulations on the effectiveness and efficiency of the most appropriate ecological footprint reduction tools would be carried out. In particular, sensors for waste water pollution monitoring as well as equipment for independent air quality monitoring would be deployed at the planned new passenger and ro-ro cargo terminal - Riga Ropax Terminal - in the water area of the southern part of the port.
Passenger and Ro-Ro cargo terminals located close to settlements have a major impact not only on passenger transport, including access to and from the terminal by private cars, taxis and public transport, but also on sea freight. Although passenger and ro-ro terminals are becoming increasingly modern, innovative and regulated, their environmental impact affects the population and the surrounding environment. It is therefore important to find innovative solutions to monitor and mitigate the impacts of terminal operations.
Jūlija Bērziņa, Project Manager, Riga Ropax Terminal: "The project will not only explain the potential risks of water pollution, but also take practical measures, including, for example, deploying sensors to monitor wastewater pollution. The sensors installed as part of the project would monitor the quality of the wastewater and inform in case of unexpected or increasing pollution. In passenger and ro-ro cargo terminals, there is also a risk of sewage pollution from leaking liquids such as oil or fuel. Monitoring of waste water pollution from ships is very important and would allow continuous monitoring of water quality in the port. In addition, air quality monitoring and proposals for measures to improve air quality are foreseen.
The project would address air, sound and waste water pollution problems caused by passenger and ro-ro cargo terminals in the city centre. The results of the study would allow the passenger and Ro-Ro terminals to find even better ways to improve the quality of life around the waterfront and create a greener city. High levels of effluent quality control, the ability to react and collect contaminated water almost immediately and the ability to react quickly to protect the environment from pollution on a larger scale are just some of the major benefits that such a project would bring. Solutions for rainwater harvesting would also be tested in the Port of Klaipeda and for noise pollution abatement in the Port of Stockholm.
Ansis Zeltiņš, Freeport of Riga Port Manager: "Obtaining real-time data on the impact of port operations on the environment and the quality of life of residents is an important prerequisite for planning port development, improving operational processes and minimising potentially negative impacts. We are happy to collaborate in this research project with other ports in the region, scientific organisations and port terminals, to share experience, knowledge and pilot various innovative solutions together."