BPO seminar on PRF development in Baltic ports
25th April 2017 saw port representatives, maritime industry professionals and representatives of administrations gather in Copenhagen, Denmark, at a seminar dedicated to the development of Port Reception Facilities (PRFs) for sewage in Baltic ports. The event was another in a series of meetings prepared by the Baltic Ports Organization (BPO).
Bogdan Ołdakowski, BPO’s Secretary General, introduced the whole process of PRF development to the seminar audience. After this introductory speech, the participants went straight to the point. Hermanni Backer, HELCOM’s Professional Secretary, explained the role the Helsinki Commission plays in the development of PRFs in the Baltic and gave an overview and planning up-date of the recent PRF report. Sotiris Raptis, Senior Advisor for Environment and Safety at ESPO, followed up on this presentation with a rundown of potential consequences for PRF for sewage linked to the revision of the Port Reception Facilities EU directive.
Susanne Heitmüller from the German Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency, joined by Markus Joswig (Waste Water Technology Institute), presented a plan for the preparation of the best practice guidebook for PRF. Marco Digioia, Director of Government Affairs at Cruise Lines International Association Europe, explained what measures cruise lines employ in order to prepare for sewage delivery. Ditte Folke Henriksen from the Danish Maritime Authority (DMA) further underlined the extent to which Baltic maritime organizations are involved in the topic by speaking about DMA’s role as PA Ship within the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea region.
The seminar featured a case study session, involving presentations offering deeper insight into the solutions implemented in various Baltic ports, including Copenhagen-Malmö Port, Tallinn, Rostock, Stockholm and Gdynia.
Gert Nørgaard, Chairman of the BPO Environmental Working Group, moderating the seminar, said: “Today’s workshop, where 25 specialists from the Baltic Sea region and European organizations met to exchange experiences on the reception of sewage from passenger ships, shows that during the last few years the ports, the authorities and the shipowners have come much closer to a mutual understanding of the challenges and the possible solutions. It is very satisfying that we can now see real results of our efforts to preserve the Baltic Sea. BPO has been at the forefront to assist the ports and the authorities to find sustainable solutions to the sewage issue”.
The topic of obligatory delivery of sewage from passenger ships remains one of BPO's main priorities. Baltic ports need to be adequately prepared for the upcoming deadlines and costs linked to the development of necessary infrastructure. The dates for the special area restrictions have been set to June 1st 2019 for new passenger vessels and June 1st 2021 for existing passenger ships.