Freeport of Riga Authority

With the Project:
The wind fence to prevent coal dust pollution at the port of Riga

A modern and multifunctional bulk load terminal was created that complies with global standards in the Baltic Sea region. The Freeport of Riga Authority carried out the implementation of the entire project, as a result of which the center of Riga was released from the bulk load operations that were degrading the environment. Instead, these operations were transferred to the territories of Andrejsala and Eksportosta on the right bank of the Daugava River and to the left bank of the Daugava River - the island of Krievu. The new terminal allows the delivery of bulk loads including coal by railway, unloading in closed premises, reloading and further transportation by ships. In order to prevent the polluted rainwater and wastewater of getting into the Daugava River, overground reinforced concrete drainage channels with a length of 3.4 km were built, discharging the water polluted by the coal dust into a purifying facility.


Since the port operations were relocated to the island of Krievu, the air pollution was on the rise. Assessments of the situations had shown that the air pollution had risen by 20%. Before the implementation of this project, dry bulk cargo handling port activities could not be carried out on the island since they would have increased the pollution of the air further. It was a goal of this project to lower the environmental impact on the surrounding residential and public areas by decreasing both the pollution caused by fine coal dust and the noise affecting the local population.


In order to ensure compliance with the environmental protection requirements and to increase the life quality of the city’s neighborhoods adjacent to the territory of Krievu Island, a technology developed in Canada that involves the construction of wind-absorbing fences around the bulk load areas was used in Latvia for the first time. The function of a wind fence is to reduce the impact of the leading winds on coal stacking, not allowing the coal dust to rise in the air and get into the surrounding nature. Reinforced concrete piles were drilled and propelled in the depth of 24–28 m that made up the foundation of the fence. Painted 23 m long steel masts were used for the fence posts. The total length of the wind fence is 2,317 m. As a result, instead of spreading over the surrounding area, the air pollution caused by coal dust particulates stays completely inside the wind fence.


The wind fence efficiently reduces the wind speeds below the particle uptake point. It solves the fugitive dust problem by keeping the particulates grounded. This innovative and sustainable technology improves the safety of the workers, product losses are reduced, and environmental regulatory standards are met for the benefit of both the applying business and the environment. The wind sieves were specifically designed to exert the drag force of the incoming wind speed and reduce the wind speeds by up to 75% within the sheltered area. By controlling them, it is possible to control the levels of particulate matter in the air. This is achieved by the unique porosity of the fabric that allows the air to pass through and equalize the differential pressure inside the wind-sheltered area.



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