Livestock Carrier Spills Fuel Oil at Port of Ceuta

Holstein Express circa 2016 (file image courtesy Daniel Ferro / Twitter)

Published Jan 13, 2020 5:00 PM by The Maritime Executive

[Brief] The captain of the port of Ceuta has requested that the livestock carrier Holstein Express pay a bond of about $410,000 after the vessel allegedly spilled five tons of fuel oil into the harbor during bunkering operations. It is reportedly the largest spill at the tiny Spanish autonomous territory in two decades, according to local TV media. 

The bond amount includes funds to cover a possible future fine, plus the costs of cleanup. The owner, operator, insurer and ship's master are jointly liable for the cost of the bond, according to local media. 

The spill occurred during bunkering operations in the early hours of Friday morning. Initial reports indicate that human error led to a tank overflow, and an investigation into the root cause.  is under way.

Pollution containment and abatement began immediately when the spill was detected. Cleanup work was completed over the weekend, allowing the port authority to free up the pier where Holstein Express had been located. Before departing the dock, the ship's hull was cleaned off as well to prevent her from spreading pollution elsewhere in the harbor, according to El Faro Ceuta.

Before her arrival at Ceuta, the Holstein Express delivered a consignment of 3,000 head of cattle to Alexandria, Egypt. As of Monday night, she was still moored alongside the breakwater in Ceuta's harbor.