Port of Antwerp-Bruges

06/10/2024 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/10/2024 09:08

Deurganckdok oil spill remains confined to port

Deurganckdok oil spill remains confined to port

Update 10/06/2024

We continue to work on the clean-up of the oil in the Deurganckdok. All resources are being deployed. The cleaning of contaminated vessels, parts of the quay wall and the water is being carried out by 10 vessels, 3 diving teams and an additional tugboat.

The Civil Protection Service is providing logistical support and is assisting with the imaging of the situation using drones. Port of Antwerp-Bruges is closely monitoring the situation.

Since Thursday, seven seagoing vessels and three barges have been cleared. Meanwhile, 3 ships have been docked since the incident. Loading and unloading with barges is gradually being resumed. During these operations, we are careful not to impede cleanup operations. A selective prohibition of navigation is still enforced. We are checking on an ad hoc basis which ships can embark and disembark. Terminals continue to operate, but there are still significant disruptions.

Weather conditions are slightly less favourable today, with more wind and rain. Although we do not expect any major impact, safety remains paramount. We are constantly monitoring the situation.

Update 09/06/2024

Yesterday and throughout the night, we worked nonstop in Deurganck dock which resulted in three clean ships being able to disembark. In addition, two ships entered and docked at clean quays. A selective prohibition of navigation is still in place. We are reviewing ad hoc whether and which ships can embark and disembark. Terminals remain operational but are still experiencing major disruption.

Two ships passed via Kieldrecht lock this night. We allow this in specific cases to ensure safe passage, without hindering clean-up works or potentially spreading pollution.

All resources are deployed to ensure safe and rapid clearance. In addition to several vessels, dive teams are also deployed to clean up ships and quay walls. The oil on the water is contained and continuously swept. Civil protection is providing logistical support and assisting in imaging the situation with drones.

Update 08/06/2024

We are still doing everything we can to clean up the oil on ships, quay walls and the water surface in Deurganckdok as quickly and safely as possible. There is close cooperation with the various parties and stakeholders at the site. The work continued throughout the night.

There is still a selective prohibition of navigation in Deurganckdok. Yesterday, 1 departure was allowed, we are reviewing ad hoc whether ships can embark and disembark.

Kieldrecht lock is used where appropriate to ensure safe passage to the Waasland canal and insofar as it does not impede cleaning or potentially spreading pollution.

Terminals remain operational but experience significant disruption.

Update 07/06/2024

Oil was discovered in the Deurganck dock late yesterday afternoon. Oil leaked during a bunker operation. Our services arrived on scene immediately.

It is important that the oil is cleaned up as quickly as possible. We are working with Brabo Cleaning Services and the Maritime Access Department.

We are not detecting any pollution in the river. The impact is limited to the port near the Deurganck dock. The Kieldrecht lock is operational.

What do we do?

- In the event of an oil spill, it is vital to identify the cause and contain the leak as quickly as possible. We do this with absorbent pads combined with oil screens. These stop and absorb the oil.

- In the meantime, we map the situation. Among other things, we are using drones to help us get a good picture of the situation. 20 ships, both sea vessels and barges, are polluted in Deurganckdock. Oil has been detected in the fairway and on the quay walls. No pollution has been detected on the Scheldt river.

- Contaminated ships can't leave the port until they have been cleaned. In addition, the fairway is going to be cleaned as quickly as possible, a process known as sweeping. The quay walls are also being cleaned.

At the moment, there is a selective traffic ban for the Deurganck dock. Traffic will be diverted as much as possible. The other locks remain open. The situation is causing delays for ships, but the terminals remain operational.

We are closely monitoring the situation. Several ships are being used for the clean-up, which will take several days. We have an aerial view of the situation to support the cleaning and provide an overview. We are working with all our might to clean up the pollution.

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