Portland Bunkers UK LTD
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Portland Bunkers UK LTD, The Old Guardhouse, Incline Road, Portland Port, Castletown, Portland, DT5 1PH
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Oil Spill Response Exercise 2021
As part of the Portland Bunkers UK (PBUK) Terminal Emergency Plan a Joint Spill Response Exercise is carried out Bi-annually between Portland Harbour Authority (PHAL) and Portland Bunkers UK. These exercises should test communications, co-ordination, resource availability and response.
The Joint Bi-annual Exercise usually includes a Tier 1 response comprised of PBUK and PHAL. This year a Tier 2 response was included in the exercise and performed by PHAL contracted Tier 2 responders Adler and Allan. MT Monjasa Provider (Bunker Tanker) which uses the PBUK Terminal as a base was also included and was asked to provide an initial response. With COVID-19 in mind and to maintain Company COVID-19 Policies, the Exercise took place outside with Social Distancing Practices in place.
At 09:00hrs on the 26th of May 2021 a Briefing was held on the Inner Breakwater Berth. This included,
• Safety points from the Risk Assessment.
• How the exercise would be carried out.
• Key learning objectives for the exercise.
• The scenario, which included artificial conditions for the day to ensure all equipment was deployed and handled.
MT Monjasa Provider is loading from the PBUK Terminal Storage Tanks, the loading has been ongoing for an hour when the emergency signal is raised by the Ship’s Chief Officer via UHF Radio (‘STOP…STOP…STOP!’). PBUK Operators immediately initiate the Terminal Emergency Shutdown Procedure and product flow is stopped. On investigation it is found that a cargo tank onboard the Monjasa Provider has overfilled causing Fuel Oil to overwhelm the tank and flow from the deck into the water between the ship/shore interface.
• PBUK Inform PHAL of the incident and together they initiate the Spill Response and Recovery Plan.
• Firefighting and spill equipment are always in place during cargo transfers and ready for deployment.
• PBUK deploy the Terminal’s rapid deployment booms from the shore to the stern and bow of the ship. The ships boom was deployed around the seaward side of ship at roughly the same rate as PBUK and both ends were secured overlapping, containing the spill within the immediate area.
• Adler and Allan then began the Tier 2 response which comprised of a downstream catchment set up with their inflatable boom to ensure any oil that should escape from the initial response would be captured and recovered. Oil Skimmers were then deployed capable of retrieving the oil from the waters surface under suction and can then be collected into road tankers/fast tanks on the quay side.
Full deployment exercises provide the response teams with hands on experience with the equipment in real conditions. During this exercise moving through Tier 1 to Tier 2 provided a comprehensive assessment of our response capabilities while working together with our partner emergency response organisations. By conducting such a large-scale exercise, we can be assured that if an actual oil spill incident should happen, we have the equipment, people and experience to respond quickly and effectively.