Port of Rotterdam Reports Success in Bunker Spill Cleanup
In Rotterdam, response efforts for the bunker fuel spill from the tanker Bow Jubail are well under way, with most of the oil recovered.
On Saturday, the Bow Jubail struck a jetty at the Port of Rotterdam, rupturing her hull and releasing an estimated 220 tons of bunker fuel into the water. Containment booms were deployed to prevent the spread of pollution, but some amount has already escaped before they were emplaced. On Sunday, oil was seen on the water from Hoek van Holland to the Beneluxtunnel, with the largest concentration in the Third Petroleum Harbor.
Over the course of the intervening days, six response vessels have been at work cleaning the harbor, and about 150 tonnes out of the 200 tonnes of oil spilled had been cleared as of Tuesday morning - an unusually high proportion in any spill response scenario. Skimmers have recovered enough petroleum from the harbor to allow the removal of oil booms from in front of marinas and to partially reopen the Third Petroleum Harbor. A special "car wash" facility has cleaned off the hulls of eight inland vessels and one seagoing ship, with about 55 vessels more to go. The response effort is expected continue for several more days.
In a statement, tanker operator Odfjell apologized for the spill and said that it was putting top priority on the cleanup effort. “We sincerely regret this incident. Our key focus continues to be on limiting the impact on the environment," said Kristian Mørch, CEO. "We work closely with Dutch authorities and our partners in the area, and truly appreciate the rapid and professional handling that the Port Authority, RWS, local units and our crew have shown to mitigate the consequences. It is still too early to speculate on the root cause of the accident, but we cooperate with authorities on establishing that as well.”
The firm has established an emergency response team to manage the details of the cleanup, and it has created an investigation team to look into the root cause of the accident.