Friday, August 11, 2006

Oil terminal in Russia avoids Amur leopard habitat

2 August 2006 at 23:22

RUSSIAN FAR EAST -- Kozmino Bay near Primorye’s city of Nakhodka has been approved as the final terminal of the Pacific oil pipeline, president of the pipeline monopoly Transneft Semyon Vainshtok told a press conference in Irkutsk July 28 voicing a decision which had been persistently backed by ecologists. The terminal for the pipeline which will stretch from the Siberian city of Taishet to the Pacific Coast was finally chosen as the alternative to the formerly proposed terminal in Perevoznaya Bay, 26 kilometers from Vladivostok. In June 2005, after considering more than 10 variants for its Pacific pipeline, Transneft ruled that Perevoznaya would be the best final point for the route. Local environmentalists opposed the decision claiming that Perevoznaya was the worst ecological option. After an international campaign involving russian and international NGOs, the terminal location was changed. Choosing Kozmino Bay over Perevoznaya is very timely and gives hope for preservation of the Far Eastern leopard area, experts from ecological Phoenix Fund said Monday commenting on Vainshtok’s statement. Russia's only marine preserve and nature preserve 'Kedrovaya Pad', located near Perevoznaya Bay, are home to Amur leopards, with only 30 to 40 remaining in the wild. The $11.5 billion pipeline with a projected shipping capacity of 80 million tons of crude oil per year is slated to supply oil from Eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean increasing exports to the Pacific Rim countries such as China, Japan and South Korea.

Michiel Hotte from Tigris Foundation has written a summary of this complex pipeline issue:


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