Public hearings on the project of a bitumen terminal construction in front of 18th century palaces of the Oranienbaum museum reserve were organised as a farce.
St.Petersburg administration again initiated the project of bitumen terminal construction in Lomonosov after the project was twice rejected by the Lomonosov Municipal Council. Lomonosov is a town at the south shore of the Finnish Gulf 30 km to the West from St.Petersburg. The town is famous for its unique palaces and parks constructed in the twenties of the 18th century united now as an Oranienbaum museum reserve. These objects are under protection by UNESCO, being included by it in the list of 500 world most precious cultural and historic objects.
The project was started by Ninas Baltic Ltd., a daughter company to Swedish Nunas AB. According to the proposed project, the area in front of the palaces will be turned into an industrial zone. This will make impossible any future reconstruction of the historical landscape around the Menshikov Canal in front of the Menshikov Palace, and will close completely the view from the palaces to the Gulf and from the Gulf to the palaces.
The public and some Municipal Council deputies are insisting on the shift of the terminal location by 4 km to the west, to the existing Neste petrol terminal. However, the representative of the investor rejects this proposal as unprofitable. Indeed, the alternative variant requires additional investments in port facilities and will decrease the expected superprofits (according to the statement of the representative of the investor, the investments will be repaid in 4 to 5 years!).
The Lomonosov Town Administration organised public hearings on the bitumen terminal project on 22 May, 2001. The chairman of the meeting, the head of the Lomonosov Town Administration, Mr. E.V.Ryabov abruptly interrupted the meeting and closed it after the audience asked questions to the representative of the investor. There was no discussion of the project at the meeting. Mr. Ryabov ignored demands of NGO representatives Alexander Fedorov (Green World) and Olga Senova (Children of the Baltic) to give them the floor for statements by their organisations. Some other NGO representatives and Municipal Council deputies were also denied the right to express their opinion.
According to the proposed project, the turnover of the bitumen terminal will be 50.000 tons per year. The bitumen produced from Venezuela oil will be brought to Russia by sea and stored on shore in Lomonosov in special tanks. The bitumen is transported and stored under the temperature 150 degrees Celsius. Transportation of the bitumen to St.Petersburg enterprises will be performed along the heavily overloaded Petergof road that passes by palaces and parks in Lomonosov, Petrodvorets, Strelna and other places.
The project of the bitumen terminal in the mouth of the Menshikov Canal is one more step in turning into an industrial zone the ensemble of palaces and parks on the south shore of the Finnish Gulf extended for 30 kilometres from St.Petersburg to Lomonosov. This will be the next contribution in destruction of cultural and natural values in St.Petersburg environs.