Port prepared for oil spill

BRITAIN'S biggest port has today invested in new state-of-the-art equipment to deal with oil pollution emergencies.The Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of two marine oil spill containment booms which can be quickly positioned in Harwich Harbour if there is a spillage from one of the massive container ships visiting the terminal.

Richard Cornwell

BRITAIN'S biggest port has today invested in new state-of-the-art equipment to deal with oil pollution emergencies.

The Port of Felixstowe has taken delivery of two marine oil spill containment booms which can be quickly positioned in Harwich Harbour if there is a spillage from one of the massive container ships visiting the terminal.

Officials say marine oil spills are rare, but they need to be fully prepared.

The booms are each 250 metres in length, and able to withstand up to two tonnes of pressure and will allow the port's emergency services to isolate and contain oil spillages from vessels of any size.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer of Hutchison Ports (UK) Limited, which owns the Felixstowe port, said: “As the UK's largest port, we treat environmental safety as paramount.

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“The new equipment is an essential asset to our operations and will provide us with the most effective protection in the event of an oil spill.

“The Port of Felixstowe has always co-operated with other ports in the Harwich Haven, as part of the Haven Oil Working Group, to provide a combined response to any pollution incidents.

“By pooling all of the equipment at our disposal, the ports are able to offer a more efficient response and to maximise the level of environmental protection available.”

Manufactured by Vikoma, a world leader in the design and manufacture of oil and chemical pollution control systems, the new high-performance booms are made from high quality polyester, PVC and nitrile polymer. They are stored on two hydraulic reels, which allow them to be deployed fast in the event of an incident.

The port has also invested in additional skimming and tank equipment to allow workers to recover any oil trapped by the boom, and to store recovered waste oil for professional disposal.

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