Port Of Rotterdam Fuel Oil Spill – A Stark Reminder Of Risks To Arctic Ecosystems

A collision between a tanker and the jetty in the Port of Rotterdam – Europe’s biggest seaport, resulted in a heavy fuel oil (HFO) spill. Despite the immediate mitigation actions were taken by the crew of the vessel and resources on-shore, 217 tonnes of HFO are estimated to have spilled from the fuel tank. “This is an environmental disaster for the local area and a stark reminder of the need to urgently ban the use and carriage of heavy fuel oil by Arctic shipping to prevent similar disasters happening in the Arctic”, said Dr Sian Prior, Lead Adviser for the Clean Arctic Alliance.

port of rotterdam oil termina
Representation Image – Credits: portofrotterdam.com

In media reports, a clean-up operation is underway and efforts are being undertaken to rescue oiled birds, but it seems likely that not all affected animals will be saved. The clean-up operation could take days if not weeks according to the Port of Rotterdam. Reports indicate that over 1,000 birds have so far been affected by the oil, including hundreds of swans which have been taken to a nearby bird sanctuary for treatment once the birds have been stabilised.

If such a disaster struck in the Arctic, it is unlikely that an adequate response could be put in place due to its remoteness. The limited availability of equipment and personnel to recover the oil, absence of safe holding or disposal locations for recovered oil, and complete absence of wildlife rehabilitation facilities mean that an effective response would be virtually impossible depending on the local conditions, oil spill response equipment might not be suitable, and oil could get stuck under sea ice and travel long distances before it seeps out again, with no prediction as to where that will happen. “A HFO spill is a tragedy anywhere in the world, and our thoughts are with those mounting the wildlife rescue and clean-up operations in the Netherlands”, said Dr Prior, adding that “this residue of the oil refining process should be banned for use in ecologically sensitive areas, including the Arctic in order to minimise the risk of environmental damage in the event of a spill”.

Press Release: The Clean Arctic Alliance and Heavy Fuel Oil

Disclaimer :
The information contained in this website is for general information purposes only. While we endeavour to keep the information up to date and correct, we make no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, about the completeness, accuracy, reliability, suitability or availability with respect to the website or the information, products, services, or related graphics contained on the website for any purpose. Any reliance you place on such information is therefore strictly at your own risk.

In no event will we be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, or any loss or damage whatsoever arising from loss of data or profits arising out of, or in connection with, the use of this website.

Do you have info to share with us ? Suggest a correction

Latest Shipping News You Would Like:

Get the Latest Maritime News Delivered to Your Inbox!

Our free, fast, and fun newsletter on the global maritime industry, delivered everyday.

One Comment

  1. “A collision between a tanker and the jetty in the Port of Rotterdam . .. .”
    Just how fast was that jetty moving when it collided with the tanker?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *