It will be a number of weeks before the clean-up at the Port of Rotterdam is complete, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has indicated after more than 200 tonnes of heavy fuel oil was released into its waters when a chemical tanker collided with a jetty.
It will be a number of weeks before the clean-up at the Port of Rotterdam is complete, the Port of Rotterdam Authority has indicated. Photo: Quistnix
In an update detailing the situation as it stood at 1300 hrs on June 27, the authority said that around 160 tonnes of spilled oil had been cleared by the morning of the update, but the remaining oil was expected to be cleared less quickly.
The body explained that a clean-up of the contaminated jetties, slopes, banks and other port infrastructure would begin after cleaning of the port water and vessels, with this infrastructure clean anticipated to last “several weeks”.
The initial priority is being given to the port water and vessel cleans to let vessels enter and leave the port’s harbours and for the logistics chain to resume.
According to the update, several businesses’ supply and distribution in the 3rd Petroleumhaven, the location of the collision, “has been seriously disrupted … as a consequence of the incident”.
The port authority is “consulting closely” with involved firms to initiate measures to ensure that supply and distribution can restart as quickly as it can.
When taking such measures, a key focus area is limiting as much as possible any nuisance for local residents and the living environment, the update explained.
A total of 16 out of more than 50 contaminated inland vessels, and four out of 15 contaminated seagoing vessels had been cleaned at the time of the update.
Meanwhile, the Bow Jubail vessel involved in the collision had been towed from her original berth to a shipyard on the opposite side, located in the Botlek area.
The incident, which occurred at around 1340 hrs local time on Saturday, 23 June, saw the tanker make contact with the jetty at the 3rd Petroleumhaven (which is designed for the supply and transhipment of petroleum) while on her way to an assigned berth for loading. The accident ruptured the hull, causing around 217 tonnes of heavy fuel oil to be released from the fuel tank inside.
There were no personnel injuries and the ship was not carrying any cargo.
The Port of Rotterdam Authority is coordinating clean-up operations along with Rijkswaterstaat, which is part of the Netherlands’ Ministerie van Infrastructuur en Waterstaat (Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management).
The Bow Jubail’s owner Odfjell — a Norwegian-headquartered company focused on the seaborne transportation and storage of chemicals and other speciality bulk liquids — has expressed its regret over the incident.
Source: Port Strategy