Over the last decade maritime transport in the Gulf of Finland area has changed significantly. The disintegration of the Soviet Union forced Russia to start developing its own Baltic ports and terminals and to find new routes to export its oil. The Baltic States have enjoyed a remarkable economic boom, especially regarding new port and terminal development and oil transportation. Due to the fact the Gulf of Finland is a sensitive brackish water area with a unique nature and environment, there has been a growing concern with accidental oil spills and various negative impacts caused by the maritime transport. Previous large-scale accidents elsewhere may have been the driving forces behind both the publicity and the calls from experts for new requirements to improve maritime safety and develop preventive measures against future accidents. This report, commissioned by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment is an updated report of the earlier study on the Gulf of Finland's oil transport, published in 1999. The rapid changes in the oil business, new terminals and enlarging transport figures were the driving forces for updating this work. The report contains statistics on oil transport, terminal development, and it presents future development scenarios up to 2010. Much emphasis has been placed on safety-related activities and recommendation; therefore current activities to improve the safety and/or develop better oil spillage-combating measures have also been analysed and discussed.
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