Page 38: of Maritime Reporter Magazine (March 2003)

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Oil Spill Response

Alstom Has Innovative Spill Clean Up Concept

At press time, the news of the oil refin- ery explosion in MR/EN's neighboring borough of Staten Island, NY has rocked not only New York City and its environs, but once again proven the tenuous hold that is sometimes had in the process of delivering petroleum products by ship and barge. Piecing together scattered first-hand and wire reports, it is alleged that the cause of the explosion was a barge belonging to Hicksville, N.Y.- based Bouchard Transportation Co. that exploded while workers were offloading 100,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline off the Bouchard B#125 barge at the

ExxonMobil Port Mobil Terminal in

Staten Island.

Killed in the blast were two longtime

Bouchard employees, John Kyne, of

Huntsville, Ala., who worked for the company for 18 years; and barge mate

Ford Ebanks, of Miami, Fla., who had been with Bouchard for 2.5 years.

The explosion led to a massive (and ongoing) clean up effort organized via the U.S. Coast Guard and Clean

Harbors, who were mobilized almost immediately after the barge exploded.

The USCG began its clean up effort via a Captain of the Port order, which called for the temporary shut down of Arthur

Kill in the Port of New York/New Jersey — between Ward Point and Tufts Point.

Later on that day, once the fire was under control, the order was modified as to provide minimal disruption in this often crowded shipping lane.

Beginning work after the fires were extinguished, Clean Harbors went to work with the USCG, who also estab- lished a unified command system at

USCG Activities New York, which included the continual assessment of the environmental impact of the fire and spilled fuel.

Accidents such as this one, as well as the break up and sinking of the tanker

Prestige off the coast of Spain late last year have brought the maritime industry to the forefront of the public and legisla- tors, which means new or heightened legislation is sure to follow.

Oil Sea Harvester: A New Solution

Researchers and developers at Alstom recently presented their ideas for the Oil

Sea Harvester — known as a project for an all-weather ocean-going oil slick cleaning ship or simply (OSH). Capable of rapid response and independent oper- ations, even in sea force 6/7, designers at 38

New oil spill response technology from Alstom — the Oil Sea Han/ester, pictured below — could per- haps help first responders better clean up oily messes, such as the oil refinery/barge explosion that sullied the waters of Staten Island last month. (Photo Credit: Don Sutherland)

Chantiers de l'Atlantique, have devel- oped a 394-ft. (120-m) high speed tri- maran that can perform such tasks as the deployment of high performance oil collection tools, as well as being able to store and treat these oil prod- ucts. The new vessel will also be

Main Particulars - Oil Sea Harvester

Length 448 ft. (136.6 m)

Breadth 106 ft. (32.3 m)

Maximum draft 24 ft. (7.2 m)

Power 2x 10 MW pods

Cruising speed 20 knots

Collecting speed Between one and three knots

Collecting capacity 6,000 tons

Autonomy 30 days

Operability 350 days / yr.

Onpratinnnl limits Fnrrp 6/7 capable of spreading oil dispersant prod- ucts and perform lightering operations.

Designed as a trimaran structure, the innovative vessel, which can reportedly deal with an 'Erika'-type oil slick in just one week, boasts a central hull (large slender single hull) flanked by SWATH type lateral hulls, providing directional and pitch stability, deadweight capacity, as well as roll stability via the SWATH concept.

The vessel will collect oil via modular tools consisting of cyclonets, pumps and belt scoops, which are utilized in differ- ent instances — depending on the clean up situation. Using these tools, the oil slick passes through Oil Harvester's two lateral canals, with the free surface of the slick stabilized by confinement and viscosity of the product.

Not limited to oil spill clean up alone, the vessel will also be designed to carry out missions such as search and rescue, maritime surveillance, collection of solid and chemical waste, firefighting; and offshore operations requiring a sta- ble platform for pumping and ROV operations.

Circle 70 on Reader Service Card

Norway Proposes Act to

Protect Coastline From

Oil Spills

The Norwegian Parliament is considering a new

Act that will extend Norway's territorial sea from four n.m. to 12 n.m. According to Norway's leading maritime law firm, Wikborg Rein, the proposed Act is designed to reduce the threat of environmental pollution from oil spills and comes in the wake of the recent Prestige incident. "Russian oil companies are rapidly increasing their output from oil fields east of the Barents

Sea. As a result, ever increasing amounts of oil are being moved by tanker out of the Murmansk region and down the Norwegian coast. It is this increasing threat of pollution that has prompted the Norwegian authorities to take action," explains Haakon Stang Lund, partner at

Wikborg Rein. The Act, which is now with the

National Assembly for approval, would enable

Norway to establish traffic separation zones along the Norwegian coastline. Tankers laden with oil would be directed further out to sea while vessels in ballast would be allowed nearer to the shore. It is hoped that this will significant- ly reduce the possibility of a grounding, which could result in a spill. Over recent years there have been a number of groundings along the

Norwegian coast, some of which have polluted the coastline. "This is just one of the measures being taken by the Norwegian government to prevent a

Prestige-type incident in its waters," says Stang


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