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Baltic Forum in Svetlogorsk

The 11th session of the Baltic Sea States Council took place on 5-6 March 2002 in Svetlogorsk of the Kaliningrad Region. For 10 years of its existence, the Council has turned into a large and influential organization not only in the Baltic Region, but also in the world.

One of the urgent issues discussed at the session was a problem of the economic development of the Kaliningrad Region being surrounded by EU countries. Experts of Trade Chambers of the Baltic States presented the results of the project on "Recommendations for the expansion of trade and investment in the Kaliningrad Region", the major of which was: Kaliningrad attracts now only academic interest, regional economy is not important for foreign investors. Increase of Kaliningrad importance in Europe requires joint effort on the regional and federal level. EU is expected to support these efforts.

Development of the commercial and fishery ports of Kaliningrad is another local problem. Ice-free port is no longer vital as soon as its turnover of goods is of just 4% of the total turnover of ports of St-Petersburg, Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania. Some reasons hamper the development of the port: location of the port within the precincts of the town and a narrow dredged sea channel do not allow vessels with tonnage of more that 25,000 tons to enter the port.

There are some plans to turn the navy base in Baltiysk into а commercial port, because it will bring port facilities closer to the open sea. However, it will require the development of automobile and railroads. Special terminal will be needed for processing of exported goods such as oil, gas, some raw materials, timber, and fertilizers. Import to Russia is formed by consumer goods transported in containers. The major part of these goods is destined to the main part of Russia and in this connection location of Kaliningrad is not convenient. Existing competition among the ports will be more intense and railroad transport via Poland and Byelorussia round the Kaliningrad Region may become more important.

Kaliningrad has also lost its significance as a fishery centre and there is little hope for its revival. Economic zone of Kaliningrad in the Baltic Sea is quite small and maintaining of a large fleet becomes unprofitable. It is more reasonable to have a small well-equipped fleet the growth of which is prevented by decreasing fish stocks.

The session of the Council was preceded by a significant work on elaboration of the Federal Target Programme for the development of the Kaliningrad Region. This programme supposes allocation to the region of 10% of Russian quota for cod catch which will allow annual building of two modern middle-sized vessels at YANTAR shipyard. Development of the transport complex implies conducting negotiations with Lithuania on securing unified tariffs for the transit through Lithuania; construction of a deep-sea port in Baltiysk including a ferry terminal for connecting the Kaliningrad Region with the main territory of Russia; construction of automobile roads for a more convenient transit through the Kaliningrad Region.

Between the Baltic Sea and the European Union

A. Kuznetsov, Kaliningrad

For the last 10 years the Baltic Sea Region has undergone some significant changes: a confrontation of two political blocks came to an end, several independent states appeared — Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia - which soon may become members of the European Union, NATO strengthens its position here. In the result of these changes, EU and NATO member states will surround the Kaliningrad Region - a Russian enclave — in the nearest future.

Serious political transformations are reasons for major problems and conflicts. However, we managed to avoid any new confrontations in the Baltic region.

The main part in that belonged to the Baltic Sea States Council (BSSC) which was founded on 5-6 March 1992 for the promotion of new democratic initiatives, economic co-operation, health and environment protection, energy, transport, communication, etc. In the frame of the Council there were created several special and working groups, and the Advisory Council for business. The BSSC became a coordinator of a multi-lateral co-operation with many regional authorities. The Council influences the situation in Europe and its importance is proved by the fact that some of the remote countries, such as Great Britain, The Netherlands, the USA, France, Italy, Slovakia are observing states for Council. One of the well-known European newspapers mentioned that owing to the Council, the Baltic region did not turn into the second Balkans. The Council can maintain its high position in case it is able to adequately respond to new challenges for the Baltic Region, Europe and the world.

One of the main problems for the Baltic community is the position of the Kaliningrad Region under the condition of EU expansion. It is possible to say that already now the Council is looking for the acceptable solutions of this matter. On the first place, it assists preparation and implementation of projects for the region and with the region. The first example of such project is Eurofaculty, and other initiatives will be launched soon.

Problems of the Kaliningrad Region were also reflected in the declaration passed by the XI Minister session. The Council supports regional efforts to develop and underlines the importance of the region for the development of co-operation between Russia and EU.

Ambiguity of the Kaliningrad problem can negatively influence regional co-operation and give rise to some confrontation within the Council. Our common task is to prevent such a scenario in which the Kaliningrad Region will be between the devil and the deep blue sea.

Kaliningrad region and wto: peclaities of regional and branch consequesnces of the Russian federation joining World Trade Organisation

G. Dykhanov, Kaliningrad

The Kaliningrad Region is an only enclave of the Russian Federation. In order to compensate its location, a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) was created on the territory of the region in 1998. Joining WTO obliges Russia to undertake certain duties which can lead to a significant change of economic conditions in the Kaliningrad Region. This problem should be discussed in two aspects: regional and branch.

The regional aspect is reflected through the SEZ regime which is the basis of the regional economy functioning. The core of this regime is in providing a system of customs facilities to economic organizations of the region. These facilities break the basic principle of WTO — all members of the World Trade Organization should apply a most-favoured nation treatment — and may be considered as a discrimination of rights of some other organization members. Russia undertaking of obligations corresponding to the requirements of WTO is a real threat of the radical change of the SEZ functioning mechanism, and even of its liquidation.

But liquidation of the SEZ can be avoided. WTO allows some abnormality for the regions under constant adverse conditions. This refers to the Kaliningrad Region as well; so maintaining a SEZ status is a foundation for further economic development after Russia having joined WTO.

The diversity of branch problems can be brought to the matter of how changes in customs legislation, agricultural policy, and liberalisation of service markets influence regional economy.

The present economic structure was formed without any well-thought development strategy. In the result there was a model of a lop-sided import substituting economy taking advantage of high tariffs and customs duties. Under the new conditions, the regional production will be non-competitive even in the Russian market because of high transport costs. Orientation to export production on the level of world standards is a way out of this situation. It requires a primary strategy for the regional development.

Bringing Russian customs legislation in correspondence with the norms of WTO will take some 5-7 years. This time is enough for adaptation of the regional economy to the new conditions.

Major part of the service market sectors is undeveloped. It caused the high level of their liberalization. In this case even financial sectors (banks, insurance companies, non-governmental retirement funds) protected from competition, are unable to fulfil their functions. In spite of the well-developed structure, the financial sector is one of the weakest points in the regional economy. One should not expect that foreign banks will come to Russia just after its joining WTO. The main obstacle for that is in the unfavourable investment climate in the Kaliningrad Region. However, increase of competition in the financial sector in the long-term perspective may become a factor contributing to the development of the regional economy.

Agriculture in all WTO member-countries is protected by the state. On the contrary, expenses for the support of agriculture in Russia and in the Kaliningrad Region in particular are much lower than that in other countries. Limited budget means lead to the necessity to maintain regional quotas for imported agricultural production and to direct proceeds of quota sales to support regional agriculture.

This is the qualitative assessment of measures capable of compensation unfavourable consequences of Russia joining WTO for the Kaliningrad Region.

On the results of the fishery complex work in the Kaliningrad Region in 2001

For the last 50 years a unique fishery complex has formed in the Kaliningrad Region. It includes fishing and processing enterprises, modern servicing infrastructure, branch science, and organizations for training and retraining of fishery specialists. Fishing enterprises focused on the foreign countries' zones and open parts of the World Ocean.

Within the period of 1998-2001 while overcoming crisis in the fishery industry, the situation of the deep-sea fishery was stabilized, the work on resources development in Russian economic zone of the Baltic Sea was perfected and the infrastructure which is the basis for the further development of the industry, was maintained.

Fishery Committee of the Regional Administration participated in the elaboration of the Complex Target Programme for the development of the fishing industry in the North-west of Russia for the period up to 2010. It was built upon an earlier developed programme for the development of the fishing industry of the Kaliningrad region for the period up to 2010. There was also drafted a Law of the Kaliningrad Region "On the fishery industry in the Kaliningrad Region".

In 2001 there was caught and processed 334.6 thousand tons of fish and seafood. Overall catch grew for 10.9% in comparison with the previous year and amounted to 9.1% of the total Russian catch of fish.

Quotas for catch in the Baltic Sea and its gulfs are almost taken out. At the same time, the main part of the catch is of cheap fishes (Baltic herring, sprat) - 77%. In this case the enterprises do not have a possibility to renovate production means deterioration of which varies between 60 and 80%.

A steady growth of production is observed in the fish processing industry. In 2001 there were produced 146 million conventional cans of canned fish. This figure is 22 million higher than that for 2000 and amounts to 32% of all-Russia production of canned fish.

Almost every enterprise involved in the fishery industry, participates in the foreign trade. Every year they export some 3.5 thousand tons and import 65 thousand tons of frozen fish.

Fishing enterprises proved for the workload of shipyards in the region. Thus, in 2001 they spent 222.4 mln. Roubles for ships repair.

Production growth is the reason for the increased tax proceeds to the federal, regional, and municipal budgets. Fishing enterprises are regular taxpayers, because the Fishery Council does not allocate fishing quotas with no documents from the rating authorities.

In spite of some factors containing the development of the regional fishery, among the tasks for 2002 it is planned to start implementation of the Complex Target Programme for the development of the fishing industry in the North-west of Russia for the period up to 2010. On the first stage it is necessary to determine the place of the fishing industry of the region in the programme for the development of fisheries in Russia and to create a mechanism for renovation of main production means, to strive for the inclusion of investments to the regional fishery into the federal Programme for the fishing industry development and to assign to the region a part of quotas for catch in various zones for a period of 10 years, to propose to Russian Government to place the state order at the fishing enterprises of the region and to determine measures for the financial support of enterprises.

Quality investigation of the World Ocean resources — a pledge for their rational usage

A. Alexeev, V. Ponomarenko, Moscow

The authors attract attention to the urgent problems of Russian fishery and its scientific provision. Fishing industry of the country has formed for some 50 years and in its final form it consisted of survey organizations, fishery fleet, and a network of scientific and educational institutions. Joint work of all these functional structures provided for the effective catch in the World Ocean. Scientific data allowed determining a long-tern perspective for the further development of the industry.

Within the process of reforms taking place now, the fishery industry is almost ruined. Survey institutions practically stopped functioning. Fishing organizations were privatized and those remaining of the state ownership are scientific and some other institutions. And the decrease of scientific staff and investigation vessels resulted in the restriction of the possibilities for the latter to successfully operate. Now their investigation work is mainly connected with the limits of the economic zone.

All the above has significantly decreased scientific support to the fishing fleet of Russia.

Till now there is no law on fishery and water bioresources protection. Federal fishery committee is always under reorganization, employing incompetent people for managing the branch.

These reasons created conditions for uncontrolled catch and import of fish, as well as for excess of quotas and catch limits. Catch statistics is no longer objective.

Activities of the Federal Government and Fishery committee show misunderstanding of the specific character of problems in the fishery industry.

The main task of scientific organizations and Federal Committees the authors see in study of commercial bioresources, assessment of their stocks and forecast of their dynamics for identification of overall permissible catch (OPC). The main stage in OPC forecast which includes identification of the stocks and acquiring a real view of the actual amount of catch, requires reliable statistics. However, nowadays it cannot be considered as a reliable one as soon as it does not account excess of quotas and illegal import of a part of the catch.

The next problem refers to the issue of regulating and rationalization of bioresources usage and change to balanced fishery. For this information on the stocks of bioresources and safe level of catch is required. But the economic situation in Russia does not allow creation of a numerous scientific fleet. Building several fast vessels equipped with modern devices allowing quick and accurate assessment of hydrocoles stocks and the environment can solve the problem.

Fishery surveys are commercially valuable that is why scientific institutions are members of the market relations with their specific place and legal grounding. Fishing industry is one of the most science consuming and science dependent branches. That is why it requires timely and sufficient financing. With no revival to the science, fishing industry will not be able to develop in Russia.

Monitoring of the internal fish products market in the Kaliningrad Region in the 4th quarter of 2001

V. Teplitsky, Kaliningrad

The article presents the investigation of the retail and wholesale prices dynamics, as well as price formation on fish products in the trade shops of the Kaliningrad Region in the 4th quarter of 2001. The investigation was conducted on the basis of analysis of 47 retail outlets. The chosen period differs from the same period of the year 2000 by the fact that due to favourable weather conditions Baltic herring and sprat was caught for longer time. It brought to the increase of sales of chilled fish and decrease of sales of frozen fish. However, this situation resulted not in the decrease of prices, but in their increase, especially for the fish products being of the high demand of the population, its part of scanty means in particular.

Dynamics of retail prices increase is defined by changes of wholesale prices which grew much quicker than inflation.

The prices were also negatively influenced by continuous growth of prices for energy and export of the part of popular production to other regions of Russia thus leading to the demand of Kaliningrad to remain unsatisfied.

Increased wholesale prices gave rise to the increase of extra charges at retail shops of various property forms.

All the above lead to further decrease of purchase capacity of needy and middle class people, as well as for fish products from neighbouring countries to enter to the Kaliningrad market due to the their cheaper prices.

Collagen containing raw materials

V. Kiselev, Kaliningrad

Any processing industry always faces problems of effective usage of raw materials, reduction of production waste, widening of assortment, and increase of the production quality.

This is especially true for industries involved into processing of collagen containing raw materials of connective tissues of animals the basis of which is formed by collagen fibres. The latter contains a group of proteins under a common name of collagen. Connective tissue provides for the strength of the internal and external structures of an animal; it is rich in valuable mineral substances and contains many amino acids and bioactive substances.

Raw materials containing collagen are classified according to their technological features, end use and their origin. Production uses the capability of collagen for swelling in water, as well as acid, alkali and saline solutions. Swelling of collagen leads to the increase of the volume and mass of the raw material.

Content of collagen in different tissues varies: its highest amount is found in bones, skin, tendons, cartilages, and bowels' walls. Raw material with collagen is a basis for food, medical, fodder, and technical production which often requires collagen dilution products (CDP). CDP is acquired after caustic and saline or enzyme treatment of the raw material. Swollen collagen is then dissolved in some organic acid. Caustic and saline method is cheaper than enzyme that is why it attracts scientific and practical interest. Enzyme method is used for getting alpha- and beta-collagen for further production for medicine.

Baltic sturgeon (Acipenser sturio) fate

R. Kolman, V. Liutikov

The authors present historical fate of sturgeons found in the waters of the temperate zone in the Northern hemisphere — a so-called Atlantic (or European) sturgeon.

The only representative of sturgeons in the Baltic Sea basin was Baltic, or German, sturgeon which was one of sturgeon's biggest variety: it reached 3 m in length and 300 kg in weight. Their natural habitat included all Europe from the White Sea to the Black Sea with Norwegian, Northern, Baltic and Mediterranean Seas between them.

Thoughtless catch of this fish during several centuries was very intensive: the share of sturgeons in the total catch was of 10-80% which certainly resulted in the sharp decrease of sturgeons population, as well as their age and proportions.

Within the first decade of the XX century, the catch of Baltic sturgeon decreased 4 times and by the 50s it lost its commercial value. This was a result of a rapid development of water transport, active regulation of river-beds, and waterworks. Sturgeon has lost its spawning sites. There arose a real threat that sturgeon would disappear in the Baltic Sea basin. Various measures taken for the restoration of the sturgeon population: restriction and prohibition of catch, attempts to conduct artificial spawning, etc., did not lead to any positive result. In the second half of XX century there were some single catches of sturgeon, but every year there are much less chances to catch one. In this case fishermen should be informed of the highest value of every fish caught which must be kept alive according to the law and for the possibility to use them as source material for the restoration of one of the most valuable fishes - Baltic sturgeon.

Ports and the environment: A case study of the Port of Southampton, UK

D. Johnson and J. Matthews, Southampton, UK

This paper looks briefly at the history of the port of Southampton in the UK, and then presents an overview of the environmental impacts of ports and key legislation, which is shaping the response of port operators in Western Europe.

Southampton has been an important port from at least Saxon times and the modern port was commenced in 1838 by the Southampton Dock Company. Although the port today is Britain's premier cruise port it has also always been an important cargo liner port.

As for the environmental impact, the need to provide ships with safe access and shelter has inevitably resulted in habitat destruction. This is compounded by hydraulic changes produced by the construction of breakwaters, sea defences and enclosed docks. Of particular significance is the level of land claim or reclamation associated with port expansion. Greater ship sizes have also required extensions to harbour and jetty structures, together with deeper access channels.

For future development and port expansion the central conflict is currently between commercial interests and the interests of nature conservation. Within the European Union the latter interests are safeguarded by various directives.

In response to increasing environmental legislation Associated British Ports, the owners and operators of the Port of Southampton, has implemented an holistic environmental policy in order that their ports can identify how their statutory duties can be integrated with environmental goals. Perhaps the greatest challenge for the Port of Southampton in the immediate future, however, is the need to expand to accommodate the next generation of container ships.

Russian - Danish co-operation for environmental protection of the Baltic Sea against oil spills and ship waste pollution

S. P. Petersen, Denmark

Due to its semi-closed nature of the Baltic Sea, its marine environment is heavily influenced by human activities, resulting in a severe impact on the environment. In order to protect the environment, Baltic countries signed the Helsinki Convention for Environmental Protection of the Baltic Sea area in 1974. Some obligations were to establish the ability to combat oil spills on the sea and to ensure facilities for proper reception of ship-generated and cargo-related waste in all Baltic Sea ports. As a part of an international environment assistance programme, the Danish Cooperation for Environment in Eastern Europe (DANCEE) has financially supported a number of co-operation projects in contingency planning for marine oil spill preparedness and response and with ship waste management planning in Eastern Baltic Sea ports. Two of them were established as Russian-Danish co-operation projects.

The increased activities related to ship-transport of oil and oil terminal import/export have raised concerns for the potential hazards posed to the environment in case spill incidents occur. As a consequence hereof, Russian responsible authorities have been in a process to review and update the regional capacity for marine spill incident response in the Baltic Sea area to protect the marine environment, its natural resources and amenity values against pollution with oil or other harmful substances. The State Marine Pollution Control Salvage & Rescue Administration (Gosmorspasslujba) under the Ministry of Transport of the Russian Federation has recognised the necessity of re-considering the Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan for the Russian Baltic Sea Response Zone.

In September 2001, the implementation phase of the on-going Danish-Russian co-operation project for updating of the Russian regional oil spill contingency plan was initiated. In a preceding feasibility study for the project, an assessment of the overall Russian marine spill contingency set-up in the Russian Baltic Sea response zones covering the St. Petersburg and Kaliningrad Region was prepared. The assessment included recommendations for spill response equipment to be purchased in the implementation part of the project. The purchased equipment is planned to be delivered in Spring 2002.

The overall long-term objective of the project is to contribute to the protection and sustainable use of the natural resources and the recreational amenities at the coastal areas of the Eastern Baltic Sea by minimising the consequences of oil pollution. The major short-term objective of the projects is to provide assistance in fulfilling the requirements of the Helsinki Convention and the OPRC Convention [2,3] by increasing capacity for handling accidental or deliberate oil pollution incidents in the Russian regional response zone. The project is implemented in close coordination and contact with all involved authorities on regional and federal level. It is planned that the project will be finalised by the end of year 2002.

The protection of the marine environment in the Baltic Sea area against the impact of pollution from various types of ship-generated waste is overall regulated by specific national legislation and the rules and recommendations in the two international conventions for marine environmental protection. Slop water, oily ballast water, heavily oil-contaminated bilge water, garbage and other wastes must not be pumped or thrown into the sea in the Baltic Sea Area. All these types of wastes must be kept on board until the ships reach the destination ports. In these ports, there should be adequate reception facilities where the waste can be handled in an environmentally acceptable way. Untreated sewage water must not be discharged into the sea less than 12 nautical miles from the nearest coast.

Experience from a number of European ports has shown that a detailed planning process is needed in order to establish a ship waste management system in the port which will comply with the requirements of the MARPOL 73/78 Convention, be economically sustainable and not cause the ships any undue delay.

DANCEE programme has supported a number of projects in the Eastern Baltic Sea area for development of ship waste management and handling plans. In these projects, a ship-waste handling and management plan has been developed and accordingly approved - integrating recommendations from the Helsinki Commission and also considering fully the requirements from the recently enforced EU Directive. The projects have included an assessment of existing reception and treatment facilities, if any. In some of the involved ports, the projects have also included planning for and construction of facilities for reception and treatment of ship waste.

Issues of international co-operation in monitoring transfrontier water basins of the Kaliningrad Region

S. Kondratenko, M. Durkin, Kaliningrad

The Kaliningrad Region is among the first facing urgent water problems one of which is the issue of superficial transfrontier water stretching to the neighbouring countries of Poland and Lithuania. Major part of pollutants gets to this water already in these countries and later on the territory of the region. 60% of drinking water is supplied from open water basins. The more contaminated water in these basins, the more complicated and expensive its purification and the worse quality water we drink. Vast polder territories make water basins dependent on floods and run-ups.

The above phenomena determine an urgent need for a close co-operation with the neighbouring countries which will primarily deal with the effective regional water monitoring and management. An exchange of up-to-date information on the transfrontier water basins is of the same importance. Some work in this direction has already been conducted with Lithuania for quite a long time. An Agreement on co-operation in environmental protection was signed. Under an additional agreement a Commission for environmental protection was created. An expert working team for drawing a plan of co-operation in monitoring of superficial, ground- and seawater was founded. Such a group in Kaliningrad was created on the basis of the regional administration; however, this group has not yet done anything significant. Moreover, the Kaliningrad party cannot independently solve organisational matters on joint realization of the ecological policy.

Water monitoring in the Kaliningrad Region is conducted by three representations of federal authorities the work of which is co-ordinated by the Committee for Natural Resources of the Kaliningrad Region. At the same time this co-ordinating body does not practise water monitoring.

There is almost no information exchange on ecological issues. Besides, those people who provide their foreign partners with such information are prosecuted.

In order to solve the matter of information exchange under the present conditions, the administration of the Kaliningrad Region should undertake this responsibility which is quite real in connection with redistribution of competence determined by a new Federal Law "On environmental protection".

Ecological aspects of development of the offshore oil field on Russian shelf of the Baltic Sea. Estimation of the ecological impact

O. Pichuzhkina, Kaliningrad

Offshore oil field "Kravtsovskoye" was discovered in 1983. It is located outside Russian territorial waters within 22.5 km from the coastline.

It is supposed that the field will be developed from a sleetproof stationary platform (SSP). The project is based on the principle of minimization of damage caused to the environment at every stage of construction and operation. Accepted technology provides for the "zero discharge" of pollutants into the sea during the design mode of operation.

The greatest influence on the marine biota is predicted in causing anxiety to fishes and birds. But this influence is estimated as a local, brief, and low-intensity one.

Calculation of pollutants emission to air showed that onboard engines would produce the maximum pollution during construction of the SSP. This kind of volatile pollution will be observed within the distance of 5 km from the SSP, i.e. in Russian territorial waters.

During well-boring and operating air pollution will be possible at a distance of 1.5-1.7 km from the platform, meaning that it will not reach neither the Curonian Spit nor the Russia-Lithuania frontier.

Some pollution to the bottom layers could be caused by stratal water, but the technological process does not allow its emission to the sea. Sanitary wastewaters will not contaminate the bottom, as soon as their emission to the sea is also excluded.

Ecological investment is calculated for some 5 million USD and compensation for fish stocks reproduction is put to 126.7 thousand USD.

The structure of ecological expenses also provides for the fees for use of nature resources and environmental pollution in accordance with the established procedure.

In order to assess the marine environment condition, a series of ecological studies was conducted in 1988-1997.

Principles of ecological monitoring organization for the period of the field development were elaborated. The purpose of monitoring is in organization of regular observations of the influence level on the marine environment with the following analysis of the results obtained compared to the stated norms. Tests of bottom sediments and sea water, as well as monitoring of the hydrocoles in the area of the SSP will be conducted on terms approved by the environmental authorities.

Accounting ecological aspects of the planned activities and an end-to-end solution to the problem of its negative influence minimization will allow successful developing of oil extraction on the continental shelf of the south-east Baltic Sea.

Once again on the energetic safety of the Kaliningrad Region

A. Vasiliskov, Kaliningrad

There is a certain danger to the energetic supply of the Kaliningrad Region due to the reason that up to 98% of power the region receives from outside through Lithuania. Attempts of the Baltic States to synchronize their energy supply network with EU requirements will certainly influence the energetic safety of the Kaliningrad Region. And construction of the Heat Station-2 of 900 megawatt will not solve this problem. Energetic independence of the region from neighbouring countries can be achieved through diversification of the supply and development of the regional power base.

A new powerful source of energy will significantly raise the regional supply and use if modern technologies will not cause any negative influence on the environment. Heating of all Kaliningrad will also be improved.

For this positive outcome Heat Station-2 should be supplied with fuel. Russian power engineers insist on using one sort of fuel - natural gas. The present consumption of natural gas is of 600 mln. m3, the new station will require 1200 mln. m3. Use of local peat, oil, and brown coal is excluded.

Gas would be delivered from Urengoy through a pipeline of Moscow-Vilnius-Kaliningrad. Its capacity is limited, gas pressure mainly depends on the takeouts of the intermediate consumers in Byelorussia and Lithuania and sometimes it drops to the critical level of 4-5 kg/cm2. In this case, gas supply of the Heat Station-2 becomes impossible. The second pipeline will not improve the situation either: regional life will be more dependent on gas; in the present state it is better to look for some other ways to solve the problem of the energetic safety of the region.

Some measures suppose a change of approaches to the decision of the matter: there must be created a flexible fuel and energy complex independent from one type of fuel. Thus, the energetic safety of the region will be provided on the account of usage of local fuel requiring less financial expences.

Perfection of starting devices of marine engines by use of overrunning clutch

A. Vasilyev, O. Sharkov, Kaliningrad

The present development of the fishing fleet in Russia is connected with use of boats and medium-size vessels. Almost 85% of Russian fleet consists of this type vessels.

Such vessels' engines are put to operation with an electric starter the reliability of which depends on the regularity of the overrunning clutch (OC). There are mostly used a roller and ratchet OCs, but they are not considered 100% reliable due to some constructional disadvantages. Attempts to correct their design do not guarantee elimination of all drawbacks and make their production, operation and repair more expensive.

The main line of developing OC's construction is to increase their output capacity maintaining the same dimensions and to provide contact free running of elements. Eccentric OCs meet these requirements completely. Experimental data proves that eccentric OCs are up to 4.3 times more rigid than standard roller OCs and, consequently, their reliability is also higher, and loss by friction in the operating mode is 2 times less than that of the roller OCs. Eccentric OC is also simpler in operation and maintenance.

Increase of effectiveness of high-viscosity fuel usage on shipboard
B. Zavgorodny, Odessa

A tendency to decrease costs for purchase of fuel for onboard engines forces to use high-viscosity oil products which include fuel oil being the end product of oil processing. However, minimal content of hydrogen and increased amount of various contaminants influence calorific value of fuel oil and accelerates the engine's deterioration.

Within a long-term storage of fuel oil, chemical reactions turn a part of fluid fractions into precipitating solids. The quality of fuel oil is also worsened by an excessive watering, and mixing old and new fuels or lots of different origins with an incompatible molecular structures leads to a quick loss of fuel stability. Use of unstable fuel causes a rapid engine's deterioration. These are the reasons to search for new technologies to increase effectiveness of fuel oil usage for onboard engines. Improvement of the fuel oil physical and chemical characteristics is achieved by use of various homogenizers one of which was offered by Centre of Experimental Technologies "Hydrotoplivo". Its hydrodynamic plant has been successfully used in fuel systems of onboard engines since 1985. The plant uses intensive ultrasonic vibrations for homogenisation of the blended fuel. In this case long hydrocarbon chains are broken and structural changes occur on the molecular level thus leading to the increase of the fuel oil viscosity for 20%, density - 2.5% and significant combustibility. Quality features acquired in the result of homogenisation remain for a long time.

Use of hydrodynamic plants is determined by a need to increase dispersion of fuel oil and conversion of engines to a high-dispersion water-and-fuel emulsion. Experiments conducted proved that adding 5-10% of water to the fuel accelerates the combustion rate for some 5-6 times as soon as thermal dissociation of water to oxygen and hydrogen increases combustibility of hydrocarbons.

Thanks to a more complete and quick combustion of fuel, parts of engines do not get dirty with combustion products and take less risk of abrasive deterioration. Less detrimental compounds are produced, fuel consumption decreases, and no failures of hydrodynamic equipment are observed. At the same time servicing of this equipment is very easy.


S. Vakhrin, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky

The article attracts attention of the people and the government to economic problems of Kamchatka. The region is now under the threat of economic catastrophe. Fishery was always a priority in the economy of the region; it was titled "a fishing factory" of the country. However, the share of fisheries in the economy has recently decreased, but debts of enterprises increase even quicker. At the same time tax proceeds to budgets of all levels is cut. With its policy of quotas for fishing the Government pushes the region to bankruptcy because the major part of fish resources goes to foreign fishing companies either directly through auctions in which foreigners may participate with no preferences to Russians or indirectly by crediting Russian companies for participation in such auctions.

The State Fishery Committee of Russia violates the procedure of quotas distribution for catch in the Far East. Finally, Kamchatka has lost a significant part of quotas for catch of valuable fishes and received a half of quota allocated for all the Far East for catch of not valuable fish as a replacement. The situation is aggravated by the preferences of the government to foreign vessels in the economic zone of Kamchatka.


N. Vekhov, Moscow

The period between XIII and XVII centuries in the human history is known as the epoch of Great Geographical Discoveries: the Portuguese, the Spanish, the Italians, and the English became outstanding seafarers.

The Dutch discovered the part of the Arctic Zone known as Russian Arctic. They were attracted to this part of the World Ocean due to their wish to find a way to conduct trade with South-east Asia: they could not use southern shipping routes because the latter were under control of the English, the Portuguese, and the Spanish. And though the northern route to Asia has not been laid, the contribution of the Dutch to the investigation of the Arctic Zone is significant: they discovered several archipelagos and islands, gave the first description of the isles and the continental coast-line to the east from the Kola Peninsula, and charted them.

The first Dutch expedition to the Arctic Zone took place in 1594: the Novaya Zemlya (The New Land) was described, and many strange animals met — polar bear, walrus, whale.

The second expedition in 1595 included more ships than the first one, but from the very beginning of the sailing everything went wrong: accidents and unfavourable weather conditions prevented the ships from going further than the New Land. It was decided to stop here and study the lands discovered in 1594, in a more detail.

The result of the second expedition disappointed Dutch merchants and the Government, so the next expedition of 1596 was less in quantity and equipment.

And again hardships chased the travellers: the part of the expedition was bound in ice and it was decided to stay for wintering.

It was the first and the hardest wintering in the history of developing the Arctic Zone — winterers had three major troubles: finding food, keeping warm and defence from polar bears attacks. Many people died, and in the end of the wintering Willem Barents fell ill. During the back sailing, on 20 June he died and took his final asylum in an ice grave. Within the course of time the sign of the grave disappeared and the searches conducted in 1995 and 1998 were unsuccessful.

Translated by Anna ROMANOVA



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