• 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 July 19

17:55 NIBULON launched second T3500 Project tug
17:32 IMO supports spill preparedness in the Northwest Pacific
17:10 ABB turbochargers support optimal performance and fuel efficiency for one of the world’s largest container ships
16:48 Escort vessel Yaroslav Mudriy of RF Navy’s Baltic Fleet leaves port of Cyprus
16:21 Ocean Alliance - CMA CGM to reshuffle its CIMEX 6 service
15:59 Blagoveshchensk shipyard launched hydrographic vessel Aleksandr Rogotsky built for RF Navy’s Pacific Fleet
15:26 Austal USA opens new San Diego operations office
15:04 MABUX says high volatility remains in global bunker market
14:45 Port of Klaipeda (Lithuania) handled 22.2 million tonnes of cargo in 6M'18, up 7.6% Y-o-Y
14:27 FSB Border Service explains its position as regards vessels owned by foreign entities and used by Russian fishermen
14:09 New CMA CGM's FAK rates from Asia to North Europe
14:02 The PORT OF KIEL invests in cargo handling and environmental technology
13:43 Season of icebreaker assistance in water area of port Sabetta is over from July 20
13:28 Coast Guard offloads approximately 8.5 tons of cocaine
13:04 CMA CGM: FAK rates from Asia to the Mediterranean
12:55 NOVATEK shipped first LNG cargos to China
12:36 ILCA, Port of Amsterdam to host Chem Together meeting, Sept. 11
12:10 Fuel oil prices are flat at the Far East ports of Russia (graph)
11:42 State Duma approves Russian ships’ multiple crossings of State Border through notification procedure
11:19 CMA CGM to apply FAK rates for Asia-North Africa trades
10:54 Canada’s Davie Shipbuilding delivered first LNG-powered ferry to be built in North America
10:35 NYK establishes logistics JV for finished cars using automobile freight trains in India
10:03 New Port of Hamburg “Connection Compass 2018/19” has arrived
09:46 Brent Crude futures price down 0.18% to $72.77, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.12% to $67.67
09:14 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,688 points

2018 July 18

18:31 Naval Group posts H1 2018 performance results
18:00 BC Ferries announces sponsorship of the Nicholas Sonntag Marine Education Centre
17:36 DP World announces closing of Continental Warehousing Corporation (India) transaction
17:12 Marine Technics to participate in International Far East Maritime Show-2018
16:44 Oleg Bukin elected as Chairman of Tuapse Commercial Seaport BoD
16:23 Transocean and Chevron Australia ink 11-well contract
15:45 Stena Bulk positions itself in crude oil
15:19 Transocean announces 13-well contract for Transocean 712
14:57 AGCS issued Safety & Shipping Review 2018
14:43 Scandlines Helsingborg-Helsingör kicks off the holiday traffic season without delay
14:18 Intermarine UK promotes Portland Port to Government minister
14:00 Szczecin to become the capital of Baltic seaports in September
13:31 OHT to order ULSTEIN-designed heavy lift transport and installation vessel
12:59 Ports of Szczecin and Świnoujście announce 12-pct increase of cargo handling in HI’18
12:22 Dorian LPG confirms receipt of director nominations from BW LPG
11:50 Throughput of Ukraine’s seaports in HI’18 fell by 3.1% Y-o-Y to 53.8 million tonnes
11:25 TTS Colibri 3D compensated crane passes FAT
11:03 Overseas Shipholding Group places order for cemical tanker duo with Hyundai Mipo Dockyard
10:41 Yaroslavsky Shipbuilding Plant launches Svetlyak-class patrol boat Balaklava
10:32 Brent Crude futures price down 0.35% to $71.91, Light Sweet Crude – down 0.36% to $66.92
10:16 ICS encouraged by IMO progress on 2020 global sulphur cap implementation issues
09:59 Bunker prices continue going down at the Port of Saint-Petersburg, Russia (graph)
09:40 Throughput of Russian seaports in 6M’18 grew by 2.8% Y-o-Y to 394.8 million tonnes (detalization)
09:16 Baltic Dry Index up to 1,721 points

2018 July 17

18:24 North P&I Club and 24Vision ink partnership agreement
18:07 Lockheed Martin awarded Navy's contract worth more than $450 million in FMS funding for MMSC project
17:55 TransContainer announced its operating results for the second quarter and the first half of 2018
17:27 Equinor buys shares for use in the group's Share saving plan
17:11 Vigor Marine LLC gets Navy's contract for USNS Mercy mid-term availability
16:56 Okskaya Sudoverf puts into operation Belmax 4, fourth non-self-propelled barge of Project ROB20
16:34 Prosafe awarded important contract in Brazil
15:47 Orsted opts for Tekmar's CPS for Borssele 1 and 2 offshore wind farm projects
15:28 Port of Rotterdam places a bee colony in the port area
14:44 Baltic Ports Conference 2018 will focus on financing, economy and energy supply
14:23 Jan De Nul launches ultra-low emission vessel Diogo Cão in China