The programme, which represents an investment of more than two million AED, has included the purchase of twenty specialised equipment containers, a dedicated speed boat with another one on order, two new trucks of which one is equipped with a crane, and comprehensive training for more than 75 members of staff.
The majority of the specialised equipment containers are located at Khalifa Port, reflecting its size and the number of ships using the port. Others have been distributed to Zayed Port, the Free Port and Musaffah. In each location, the easily transported container is being used to store new equipment, including specialised pumps, skimmers, tanks and a variety of booms. The specialised equipment containers are located so that they offer easy and quick access to essential equipment in case of an emergency.
The new speed boat is fast and high powered and has various customised features to ensure it provides the best support. For example, it has doors that open sideways, so that a boom to accumulate oil and prevent it from spreading can be easily and quickly deployed if needed.Three flat bottomed boats have been purchased and a second speed boat which will be specifically designed for debris collection is on order. The two new trucks, one of which is equipped with a crane, will provide dedicated overland support.
In addition, more than 75 members of staff are now qualified, having completed the International Maritime Organisation’s Level 1 Oil Spill Response training. The boats will be operated by Marine Services personnel working in close coordination with Abu Dhabi Ports Health, Safety and Environment (HSE) team.
Last year, eight comprehensive oil spill drills were conducted successfully across the different locations, with varying scenarios to test the participant’s knowledge and reactions and to improve response time.
Each drill has been in collaboration with different port stakeholders and other Government agencies, to ensure that the rehearsals have been as realistic as possible and to flag any issues.
Finally, Abu Dhabi Ports has signed a contract with the National Response Corporation (NRC), a global service provider of emergency response solutions. The contract ensures the support of NRC’s Oil Spill & Hazmat (short for hazardous materials) response team and the usage of its equipment in case a major incident occurs in one of the ports of Abu Dhabi Ports.
“We are pleased to announce our improved capabilities in this area, the programme has been very thorough to ensure that all potential scenarios and possibilities have been addressed. We are confident that our team can respond quickly and effectively to any incident to ensure that a situation is managed as quickly as possible,” says Sultan Al Jaberi, Vice President – Regulations, HSE & Security, Abu Dhabi Ports. “Protecting human life and the environment is our top priority in everything we do,” he adds.