• 2017 November 11 10:44

    Baltic Sea response community prepares for major oil spill exercise in Sweden 2018

    The next major Baltic operational exercise in oil spill response, HELCOM BALEX DELTA, is scheduled to take place during the week of 27–31 August 2018 in Karlskrona area, Sweden. Preparations for the 2018 exercise will take major steps forward today and tomorrow (8–9 November) with an initial planning conference in Stockholm, Sweden, HELCOM said in its press release.

    During the conference, the participating response authorities from the Baltic Sea coastal countries and the EU will have an opportunity to provide input to the planning of the three-day exercise. The conference is organized by the Swedish Coast Guard, the coordinator of BALEX DELTA 2018, and co-financed by the EU.
     
    HELCOM BALEX DELTA exercises, organised as a practical test of the alarm procedures and the response capability of the Baltic Sea countries, have taken place each year since 1989. They are hosted by the Baltic Sea coastal countries according to a rotation schedule agreed upon at the HELCOM RESPONSE Working Group.

    In addition to the host, other countries regularly participate with their own response ships. Typically, 6–8 countries take part in the exercise, bringing the total number of vessels to 10–20. This makes the Baltic exercise one of the major multilateral spill exercises worldwide.

    For the 2018 exercise, the hosting country Sweden has a project budget of nearly 1 million euro, which includes significant project financing from the European Union Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (DG ECHO) for the period from May 2017 to April 2019. This funding allows a more advanced exercise, including detailed and inclusive planning as well as more thorough analysis of the lessons learned. The outcome of this analysis will contribute to the overall development of the HELCOM exercise framework for at-sea, on-shore and combined operations. The project has recently been selected a flagship project of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region.

    The preliminary scenario for the 2018 BALEX DELTA, to be further discussed at the initial planning conference, involves a cargo ship which hits ground off the environmentally sensitive rocky coast of southern parts of Sweden (Skåne and Blekinge). The ship carries containers with hazardous chemicals, some of which start leaking and are lost into the sea, while a breach in the hull leads to an oil spill. Some of the material reaches the shoreline, which calls for response activities on the shore, in addition to those at sea.

    Thus, besides ensuring effective international oil spill response at sea and on the shore, the exercise will also answer another need: to further develop the response procedures that relate to international incidents involving hazardous and noxious substances, both in the Baltic Sea and worldwide. Moreover, the exercise will focus on ensuring effective communication between the diverse actors involved, especially between those working on shore and those at sea.

    As the exercise receives funding from the DG ECHO programme, an extensive observer programme will be organised in order to ensure that the Baltic best practices can be spread throughout the EU. Within the observer programme, observers from 40 countries will be invited to witness the exercise, in addition to the Baltic Sea community that regularly takes part.

    International assistance from some or all coastal countries may be needed in the case of a major spill in the Baltic Sea. Based on the 1974/1992 Helsinki Convention, work for such co-ordinated on pollution preparedness and response take place within the regular regional cooperation of HELCOM. A dedicated intergovernmental group was established in 1977 for this purpose, today called the HELCOM Response Working Group.

    The agreed preparedness and response procedures are documented in the HELCOM RESPONSE Manual, which was first compiled in 1983 from a number of related HELCOM Recommendations and has been kept continuously updated ever since.
    In order to test this Response Manual in practice, and thus ensure effective co-operation in case of an international pollution incident in the Baltic Sea, the coastal countries regularly carry out exercises. These range from table top and communication exercises to operational exercises like the HELCOM BALEX DELTA, which has been organised every year since 1989. In operational exercises equipment, ships and staff are exercised in the field using an incident scenario, partly unknown to the participants.

    The BALEX DELTA 2018 EU project is a time-limited EU project supporting the organisation of the 2018 edition of the HELCOM BALEX DELTA exercise. The project will run from 1 May 2017 to 30 April 2019 with a total budget of EUR 950 000 from European Union DG ECHO, Directorate A -Emergency Management. The project consortium, led by the Swedish Coast Guard, includes as project partners the County Administrative Board of Skåne, HELCOM, MSB (Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency), Polish Maritime Search and Rescue Service, and SYKE (Finnish Environment Institute).




2018 January 16

18:21 Kommer Damen opens Damen Area Support China
18:08 DNV GL approves latest Kongsberg Digital Engine Room Simulators
17:49 Russian Railways: Loading of Russia’s export cargo bound for domestic ports up 6.4% Y-o-Y to 293.4 mln t in 2017
17:26 State stevedores of Ukraine handled 34.73 mln t of cargo in 2017, down 9.6% Y-o-Y
17:00 Andrey Lavrishchev’s report at Hydraulic Engineering Structures and Dredging Congress will focus on promising port projects
16:35 Installation of Belgian topside for offshore substation marks milestone in further construction of Merkur Offshore Wind Farm
16:04 Maersk Line announces increase in FAK rates from Northern Europe to Middle East and ISC and from Mediterranean to Far East
15:52 Jotun Paints congratulates North-Western Shipping Company on its 95th anniversary!
15:34 DNV GL launches new JDP to test biodegradable lubricants
15:04 TTS Group ASA secures contract with Cosco (Dalian) Shipyard for TTS cranes
14:45 New Delhi will host 5th edition of Oil Spill India Conference on 5-6 July 2018
14:29 Norwegian Control Systems delivers automation and bridge control systems to five Fjord1 ferries
14:10 Port Mechel Temryuk hanlded 1.5 mln t of cargo in 2017, up 6% Y-o-Y (photo)
13:37 Russia's crude exports in 2017 rise 7%, year-on-year, to 256.718 million tonnes
13:13 Turnover of DeloPorts’ terminals in 2017 up 28% Y-o-Y to 7.7 mln t
12:49 NSR cargo traffic in 2017 included 9.73 mln t carried by seagoing vessels and 797,190 t carried by river ships
12:28 Singapore will host 22nd HR & Crew Management Conference on 16-17 May, 2018
11:56 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 15-16
11:34 Bunker prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:11 Coal exports from Russia rose 4% to 185.136 million tonnes in 2017
10:50 Oceanographic vessel Admiral Vladimirsky starts research in Indian Ocean
10:25 Brent Crude futures price down 0.4% to $69.98, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.31% to $64.5
10:07 CMA CGM announces FAK rates from ISC to North Europe and the Mediterranean
09:42 Cargo turnover at inland water ways of Azov-Don Basin down 4.9% to 9.796 mln t in 2017
09:19 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,264 points
09:07 Vroon’s VOS Stone mobilised with Ampelmann A400 gangway system
08:37 MMC First Process involved in the world’s first wellboat simulator
07:03 Crowley announces plans to build new 100,000-barrel Alaska Class ATB

2018 January 15

18:06 The largest hydraulic crane in the world at Vuosaari Harbour
17:29 Port of Tallinn offers Video Guides for car and truck drivers
17:06 Number of sea-going vessels entered the port of Rotterdam up to 29,646 in 2017
16:47 Construction begins on “Crystal Endeavor” at MV WERFTEN
16:43 Throughput of port Taganrog up 29.8% 3,067,100 t in 2017
16:35 QuantiServ introduces robotised laser technology that drastically increases the lifespan of 2-stroke engine pistons
16:16 Ice navigation restrictions at port Vysotsk (Leningrad Region) come into effect from January 29
15:51 Yevgeny Savkin appointed as Director General of Commercial Sea Port of Ust-Luga (photo)
15:27 Three vessels escorted by icebreakers in eastern part of Gulf of Finland during 24 hours on Jan 14-15
15:04 Port of Kiel throughput up 14.3% to 7,407.376 tons in 2017
14:30 Grain transshipment via Russian ports showed highest growth in 2017 among other cargoes, followed by coal and coke
14:02 Crossing of 278 vessel the Suez Canal of tonnage 16.9 million ton during 6 days
13:48 Dry cargo carrier of Project 964, Kalevala, converted for grain transportation (photo)
13:23 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 13,037 in RF spot market
13:02 MOL announces full acquisition and name change of Azalea Maritime B.V.
12:41 Egyptian Government targets 5.7 milliard dollars Suez Canal revenues by end of fiscal year
12:05 Adani inaugurates two Royal IHC Beagle TSHDs
11:57 ZIM appoints a Chief Digital Officer
11:39 Change in communications leadership at Hamburg Süd
11:00 Ships of RF Navy's Baltic Fleet return from distant cruise
10:23 Zelenodolsk A. Gorky Shipyard lays down yet another 22160-series patrol boat of Project 22160 (photo)
09:57 Brent Crude futures price up 0.03% to $69.89, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.28% to $64.48
09:15 Baltic Dry Index down to 1,279 points

2018 January 14

12:26 Hapag-Lloyd announces GRI from East Asia to Caribbean, East Coast Central America, Panama, Mexico Gulf & Progreso
12:24 Hapag-Lloyd implements GRI from East Asia to USA and Canada
12:22 Wallenius Wilhelmsen Logistics receives a Biosecurity Certificate of Commendation from Australian government agency
12:19 Luka Koper volumes up 6 % in 2017

2018 January 13

20:16 Port of Long Beach releases rail facility study
20:15 Royal IHC launches the multi-purpose 5,450m3 trailing suction hopper dredger
20:12 Record fall in container volumes at the Port of Gothenburg
20:10 New bulk cargo terminal MOU announced in Poti, Georgia

2018 January 12

18:26 Latest expansion begins at Port of Felixstowe