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Published: Kem. Ind. 52 (7-8) (2003) 353-358
Paper reference number: KUI-44/2002
Paper type: Conference paper
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Ballast Waters – Legal Frame and Project Druzba Adria

N. Mikulić and N. Plešnik


The realization of the Druzba Adria Project, by which the Jadranski naftovod (Adriatic Oil Pipeline) (JANAF) intends to activate also its export line through Omisalj terminal, will strengthen the strategic position of JANAF in the network of European oil pipelines, increase the utilization of the oil pipeline system and secure safer and better quality of oil supply to domestic and foreign users. Druzba Adria is the international project of export of Russian oil and of transit oil from other countries to the world market by using free capacities of existing oil pipeline systems of Druzba and JANAF (Adria) which extend from the Russian Federation, across Belorussia, Ukraine, Slovakia, Hungary and Croatia to the Tanker Port and Terminal of Omisalj (about 3.200 km in length). The Druzba Adria Project expects transit and export of oil quantities ranging from 5 x 106 tons during the first stage, 10 x 106 tons at the second stage, to 15 x 106 tons a year at the third stage. But, apart from the economic benefits, the Druzba Adria Project will undoubtedly step up the solution of the issue of disposal of ballast water used by tankers for keeping their stability during navigation. Uncontrolled transfer of ballast water and sediments by ships is a potential threat to maritime ecosystems because of possible intake/transfer of allochthonous maritime organisms, pathogenic viruses and bacteria. Ballast water is certainly an important, if not the most important, carrier of maritime organisms. This is the water (fresh, brackish or sea water) taken by the ship in the port of "departure" and discharged in the port of "arrival" which is necessary for keeping the balance and stability of modern ships when they sail without the cargo. Safety, weather conditions, cargo conditions and parameters of transport, are the basic conditions for determining the extent of necessity for ballasting. These questions shall be regulated by adoption of the Convention on Ballast Water and Sediments Management which is currently being prepared. The draft of the Convention was on the agenda of the 48th Session of MEPC/IMO (Maritime Environment Protection Committee of the International Maritime Organization) held from 7th to 11th October 2002 in London. The Convention will regulate the method of ballast water and sediments management; replacement and treatment of ballast water, ballast water quality standards, technical standards for the quality of equipment used for ballast water treatment, and the other. Furthermore, it will also regulate the issues of ballast water quality, competent bodies, methods of authorization for ballast water management, communications (ship, port administration, member countries, IMO), areas for ballast water replacement. The other important international documents which must certainly be kept in mind are the MARPOL Convention 73/78 and the Convention on Biological Diversity. Mentioned international documents provide the legal framework while in their national regulations the countries must take into consideration the specific qualities of their own ecosystems as well as the characteristics of navigable waterways. For the purpose of selecting the optimum solution for the ballast water disposal of the Druzba Adria Project, all related international activities are being carefully monitored. Close cooperation of JANAF with the government administration bodies, scientists, ship operators and other institutions, has been established. On the initiative of JANAF and in cooperation with the competent bodies of the government administration a Task Force has been formed to study the international practice and propose the optimum solution.

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ballast water, oil pipeline, ecosystem, allochthonous organisms