The Liepaja Special Economic Zone Authority is starting to implement the project “Clean-up of the Karosta Canal of the Historically Contaminated Site of the Liepaja Port. Phase II” with the aim of reducing the negative impact of historically polluted sediments of the Karosta Canal on the environment, human health and the ecological condition of the Baltic Sea. In order to achieve the goal, 202,247 m3 of sediments, including 400 t of hazardous chemicals will be removed. The project is funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism 2014–2021 program “Climate Change Mitigation, Adaptation and Environment”. The total cost of the project is EUR 5,117,647.05, of which EUR 4,350,000.00 is funded by the Norwegian Financial Mechanism.
As a result of the project, the residents of Liepaja will not be exposed to the risk of historical pollution, the quality of the surrounding environment will be significantly improved. According to Jānis Lapiņš, CEO of the Liepaja SEZ, the project is unique and will achieve several goals - both, addressing environmental and ecological issues in the Baltic Sea region and removing it from the HELCOM Baltic Sea hotspot list, as well as, opening new opportunities to further develop active business in the Karosta Canal basin and the adjacent areas.
The project is implemented together with the Latvian partner - the association "Baltic Shores" and the Norwegian partner - the "Norwegian Water Research Institute". The experience of the partners is essential to achieve the project objectives, as knowledge transfer is vital for successful implementation of the project. On 13 September 2021, the Liepaja SEZ Authority signed an agreement with the Latvian partner of the project - the association “Baltic Shores” to find out the most economically advantageous offer for the performance of works. The project is to be completed by 31 December 2023, however, it is planned that most of the contaminated soil could already be depleted during the 2022 construction season.