• 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 October 23

18:01 Sea trials of SMK-2187, modular search-and-rescue boat of Project 23370М, completed in Kamchatka
17:29 Stevedoring division of UCL Holding handled 27.2 million tonnes of cargo in 9M’18
17:00 Throughput of Chinese ports grew by 4.3% to 6.92 billion tonnes in 9M’18
16:05 MPC Maritime acquires three Panamax-sized container vessels
15:22 Pirate attack averted off the east coast of Somalia
15:03 WinGD set to increase technical capacity through new Engineering Centre in Shanghai
14:57 KfW IPEX-Bank and Commerzbank finance third expedition ship for Hapag-Lloyd Cruises
14:15 Crowley christens Commitment Class combination container/roll on-roll off ship
13:40 Port of Immingham is home to award-winning rooftop solar array
13:14 Verifavia Shipping signs cooperations with two major global ship managers
12:26 Bunker prices are flat in the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
12:01 OOCL introduces new Asia – West Africa direct services
11:42 RS class: new supertanker successfully performed ship-to-ship LNG bunkering
11:24 DP World reports 3.7% gross like - for - like volume growth in 9m 2018
10:59 Woodside signs cooperation agreement with ENN
10:35 INPEX-operated Ichthys LNG Project commences LNG shipment
09:58 Brent Crude futures price down 0.38% to $79.53, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.27% to $69.17
09:24 IMO approves a programme of actions to deliver the initial strategy on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from ships.
09:17 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,579 points
07:14 GTT receives a new order from DSME for the tank design of an LNG carrier

2018 October 22

18:33 Rolls-Royce and Sunseeker agree new framework agreement for supply of MTU engines
18:32 OOCL introduces new Mediterranean and West Africa direct service
18:29 Rotterdam expects record 50,000-tonne shipment of pig iron
18:01 Arctic Council meeting of Environment Ministers ends with talks about future cooperation
17:39 IMO's Marine Environment Protection Committee meets
17:16 Glavgosexpertiza approves modernization of onshore facilities in Salekhard
16:22 Humber International Enterprise Park plans reshaped after public feedback
15:34 Nornickel’s Polar Transportation Division carried 2.4 million tonnes of cargo in navigation season 2018
15:10 ESPO congratulates Port of Valencia, Ports of Bremen, Port of Moerdijk and Port of Tangier for renewing Ecoports’ Environmental Standard
14:17 Sovcomflot named a finalist in four different categories of 2018 Lloyd’s List Global Awards
13:55 Onezhsky Shipyard delivered ice-class buoy tender named Fortuna
13:23 Pavilion Energy and BW ink deal for long-term charter of two Singapore-flagged LNG newbuilds
12:58 Average wholesale prices for М-100 HFO down to RUB 21,455 in RF spot market
12:36 LUKOIL BoD recommends interim dividend amount
12:13 Bunker sales at the port of Singapore in 9M’18 down 1.5% Y-o-Y to 37.46 million tonnes
11:51 Power of gender diversity on the agenda at Seatrade Maritime Middle East
11:32 Container throughput of port Hong Kong (China) down 5.6% to 14.69 million TEUs in Jan-Sep’18
11:09 Abu Dhabi Ports collaborates with MSC Mediterranean Shipping Company on international blockchain solution Silsal
10:50 Port of Singapore throughput in 9M’18 grew by 0.9% Y-o-Y to 470.49 million tonnes
10:28 Brent Crude futures price up 0.69% to $80.34, Light Sweet Crude – up 0.68% to $69.76
10:09 NYK PCTC receives special award from the Association for Rescue at Sea
09:47 STLC to obtain additional RUB 5.9 billion of federal subsidies in 2018
09:15 Baltic Dry Index is up to 1,765 points
09:06 ABS awards AIP to HHI’s standardized FPSO topside
08:08 DP World, UAE Region wins Terminal Operator of the Year at Maritime Standards Awards
06:22 ABS awards AIP to HHI’s deepwater FLNG hull

2018 October 21

08:54 20,000 TEU COSCO SHIPPING Sagittarius named in Shanghai
08:50 CFO Paul Smits leaves the Port of Rotterdam Authority
07:52 COSCO SHIPPING starts shipment of Toyota exhibits

2018 October 20

08:47 Boskalis, Van Hattum en Blankevoort and Mobilis construct deep-sea quay for the new HES Hartel Tank Terminal at Maasvlakte
08:10 Navios Partners announce filing of F - 1 for direct listing of Navios Containers
08:06 Maersk Line increases FAK rates for Northern Europe to Middle East and ISC trade
08:04 U.S. Navy contracts Austal to order materials for EPF 13
07:44 EU Commission launches the European Network of U-space Demonstrators

2018 October 19

18:42 ABN AMRO, Samsung SDS and the Port of Rotterdam Authority launch container logistics blockchain pilot
18:07 Stena Line's battery hybrid vessel completes its first month of operation
17:56 ABN AMRO, Samsung SDS and Port of Rotterdam Authority launch container logistics blockchain pilot
17:35 Port of Gdansk participated in the CILF 2018 fair in China
17:11 Gdansk pays a visit to Singapore
16:57 Testbed established for Internet of Ships Open Platform