The Project Implementation Team (PIT) consists of an OSCE project manager, an OSCE project assistant, one international consultant, one local consultant, and an OSCE selected contractor.
The PIT is responsible for setting the legal, managerial, monitoring and verification frameworks for the effective achievement of project results and the execution of a quality assurance throughout removal and disposal activities of rocket fuel components.
This project does not envisage use of implementing partners. Nevertheless, sucess of the project is predicated on the strong partnership among the Project Implementation Team, Contractor, and the authorities of Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
The project aims to improve human and environmental security in the OSCE region by the removal and disposal of rocket fuel components from Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Project addresses such OSCE focus spheres as arms control and disarmament, disaster risk reduction and economic and environmental affairs in Kyrgyzstan and Armenia.
Outcome in Kyrgyzstan
Project will enhanse security to the Bihkek's population, especially of Novopavlovka. In the medium-term perspective, the project enhances the participating State’s ability to fulfil its commitment to reduce security and safety risks stemming from storage of rocket fuel components surplus. The immediate change will be the removal of 196 tonnes obsolete rocket fuel components from storage site at Novopavlovka that poses direct threats to human security and environment.
Outcome in Armenia
Project will enhanse security to the Armenian population, especially of Lori region. In the medium-term perspective, the project enhances the participating State’s ability to fulfil its commitment to reduce security and safety risks stemming from storage of rocket fuel components surplus. The immediate change will be the removal of 160 tonnes of obsolete rocket fuel component Samin from storage site in Lori Region that poses direct threat to human security and environment.
Project envisages two project activities aplicable for both locations:
Project identified 8 main risks against which project is implemented and monitored. Considering the fact that the chemicals designated for disposal through this project represents a unique chemical mixture and therefore embraces a complex disposal processes, the project developed a Risk management plan designed to address a range of identified risks.
After the end of the Cold War and the collapse of the Soviet Union the former Soviet Republics, including Kyrgyzstan and Armenia, were left with a large surplus of the toxic liquid rocket fuel components – oxidizer Mélange and fuel Samin. Rocket fuel components constitute a highly toxic and hazardous waste that needs to be removed and disposed. The reason for that is the danger to the surrounding populated areas and contamination risks to the environment. The rocket fuel is being kept in storage containers that are constantly deteriorating due to the corrosive features of the rocket fuel components. Therefore, an environmental and humanitarian disaster can occur in case of massive leakage.
Since 2004 the OSCE successfully implemented similar projects by removing and disposing in an environmentally benign way the rocket fuel components from the following OSCE participating States: Albania, Armenia (Mélange only), Georgia, Kazakhstan, Montenegro and Ukraine. In 2013 Armenia, Kyrgyzstan and three other countries (Belarus, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan) requested assistance from the OSCE in eliminating their surplus rocket fuel stockpiles. In response to the assistance request, in 2013, the OSCE developed an extra-budgetary project (“Regional Programme on Liquid Rocket Fuel Components Disposal”, hereinafter referred to as Programme) and started its project activities in 2015.
During its phase one the Programme envisaged removal and disposal activities in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan. Bulgaria and Kazakhstan decided to deal with disposal of surplus rocket fuel stockpiles on their own. By June 2018 the OSCE successfully completed project activities to remove and dispose of nearly 700 tonnes of Belarus’ stockpiles of the rocket fuel components.
Kyrgyzstan and Armenia are the focus of the second phase of the Programme. Due to the lack of technologies and facilities to dispose of these chemical substances and an increasing risk of large-scale environmental accidents (air, water or land contamination) that could potentially affect communities in the surrounding, the Government of Kyrgyzstan submitted request for assistance to the OSCE in 2014. Respectively, Armenia reiterated its request in January 2018 and Kyrgyzstan reiterated its request in January 2019.
There are policy, environmental and human security considerations that justify the necessity to conduct the particular project.
The objective of the project activities aimed to remove and dispose surplus stockpiles of the rocket fuel components is fully in line with the priorities laid down in following OSCE documents: the OSCE Document on Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (FSC.DOC/1/03, 19 November 2003), the OSCE Strategy Document for the Economic and Environmental Dimension (MC (11).JOUR/2, 2 December 2003), the OSCE Ministerial Declaration on OSCE Assistance Projects in the Field of Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition CA (MC (23). JOUR./2, 9 December 2016), the OSCE Ministerial Council Decision No.10/17 Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (MC (24) JOUR/2, 8 December 2017) and the OSCE Ministerial Council Declaration on OSCE Efforts in the Field of Norms and Best Practices on Small Arms and Light Weapons and Stockpiles of Conventional Ammunition (MC (25) JOUR/2, 7 December 2018). As the project fits into three dimensions of the OSCE and has a cross-dimensional character, it is highly prioritized by the OSCE and the recipient governments.
The rocket fuel components are highly toxic and hazardous. Considering the fact that they are stored in containers that have been deteriorating over time, in case of a leakage, there is a risk of a highly negative impact on the environment. The long-term environmental damage is primarily associated with pollution of the groundwater.
The fact that in close proximity to the rocket fuel storage are residential areas, railroads and motorways is another potential risk with high impact on human security. During serious incidents occurring simultaneously with windy weather would result in toxic fumes drifting across residential areas. It is estimated that a major accident with a spill of 100 cubic meters of Melange (one standard container) would be able to kill unprotected humans within 2 kilometres from a storage site and turn an area within 25 kilometres into a dangerous zone. In Kyrgyzstan the storage site is in the suburbs of Bishkek with a residential place less than 20 meters away.