The Port of Rotterdam Authority will replace a section of the slopes stretching over more than 9 kilometres that have been contaminated by the ‘Bow Jubail’ oil spill.
While going to its assigned berth for loading, the ‘Bow Jubail’ made contact with the jetty and accidentally ruptured the hull, on June 23. As result, about 217 tons of heavy fuel oil (HFO) were released from the fuel tank. The leakage has now stopped, and there is no risk of further spills.
The Port Authority announced that the damage resulting from the oil spill is estimated at around 80 million euros. It will recover this damage from Odfjell, owner of the leaking Bow Jubail.
The last restrictions on shipping caused by the water pollution were lifted a month ago. Quay walls, jetties, buoys and poles can be cleaned, as these surfaces can be sprayed with cleaning agents.
Currently, cleaning is still focused on those sections of the port infrastructure that have not yet been cleaned as they did not restrict shipping from and to the terminals concerned.
As for the slopes, the slope elements are often soiled not only along the top, but also on the sides and bottom of the stone. In addition, the filter layer is also contaminated. Cleaning the slope is carried out by combining high-pressure spraying and flushing with hot (90°) water. This method was very effective in previous clean-up operations.
The reasons that this method will not achieve the envisaged solution under these circumstances are the oil type – heavy fuel oil – and the fact that the oil was spilled more than a month ago, and much of the volatile components have evaporated. Along certain sections of the slopes, replacing the slopes is cheaper than cleaning.
The entire clean-up operation will last until the middle of next year. The Port of Rotterdam has almost 75 kilometres of quay wall and more than 200 kilometres of slopes.