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Rotterdam oil spill forces partial closure
A major clean-up operation is taking place at the Port of Rotterdam after a tanker spilt around 200t of oil contaminating over 50 inland vessels and closing the port’s 3rd Petroleumhaven and Geulhaven to traffic.

Oil spill response specialist HEBO is working to remove the oil using six cleaning vessels and a ship wash facility has been operational in the Geulhaven to clean more than 50 affected inland vessels. Meanwhile, the 3rd Petroleumhaven and Geulhaven have been closed off to traffic since the weekend but the Port of Rotterdam Authority said it is doing “everything in its power to re-open parts or all of the closed off areas as soon as possible.”

Around 100t of oil has already been cleared but the Authority, which is coordinating the clean-up operation with the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (RWS) said on Monday: “The clean-up is currently expected to last several more days.”

Infrastructure next

Once the port water and the ships have been cleaned, contaminated port infrastructure, such as the jetties, the embankments, quays and the slopes will be tackled. This work will also be carried out by Hebo and is expected to take at least several weeks, said the Authority.

To prevent the spread of oil, containment booms were deployed, however, some of the oil “had already spread beyond the incident area,” which allowed it to come into contact with the local waterfowl, said the Authority.

RWS is coordinating the job of rescuing and cleaning oil-soaked birds with Dierenambulance (animal rescue) and Vogelbescherming (bird protection), for which a national unit has been deployed.

source: GreenPort