Rena: 358 Tonnes Of Oil Left


Salvors have removed over 1000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil off the striken cargo vesse; Rena, and there are 358 tonnes of heavy fuel oil remaining on board in the submerged number 5 starboard tank.

Work on removing oil from the engine room and onto the tanker Awanuia continues.  A pumping operation to remove these oils from a centralised tank on Rena began  yesterday afternoon and has continued overnight.

MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Kenny Crawford said the oils were a mixture of lubricants, hydraulic oils and heavy fuel oil, situated in a number of different tanks around the engine room.

“Most of them are very light and do not pose the same environmental risk as the heavy fuel oil, which has been the salvage team’s priority from day one,” Mr Crawford said.

“However, it is important these oils are removed as well – it’s very pleasing to see this progressing so well.”

Mr Crawford said work on the “hot tapping” of the starboard tank was also making good progress.

To hot tap the tank, a hole is cut into the fuel tank through a flange attached to the deck. Water is then pumped into the fuel tank, raising the oil to the top, so it can be extracted.

Mr Crawford said salvors were continuing to pump sea water into the tank this morning.

“It’s a slow and steady process,” Mr Crawford said.

National On Scene Commander Alex van Wijngaarden said the oil spill response team continued to ensure its readiness to respond to a significant release of oil.

However, there had been no significant release since around 22 October when between 5 and 10 tonnes seeped from the vessel.

“We have rapid strike teams ready to respond to any reports of oil and we are also continuing to assess shorelines and clean-up where needed.”

Yesterday dive teams confirmed that the ‘coffer dam’ or water-tight barrier under construction to enable access to Rena’s submerged starboard tank is now unusable.

Bruce Anderson said that the coffer dam was destroyed in the heavy weather conditions that occurred after the team left the vessel.

And buckling is now visible on the port side of the Rena as can be seen from these photos:

Rena has buckling today on the port side | MNZ

Rena buckled | MNZ

Because the coffer dam is now unusable, Mr Anderson says that “given the amount of time it would take to rebuild this, they have decided to focus their efforts on hot tapping.”


Bad weather forced Svitzer to suspend salvage operations and evacuate all personnel from the vessel on Monday.

RENA:: Starboard side of deck is largely underwater at high tide

Teams returned on board on Wednesday and re-established fuel removal systems.

Svitzer was also looking ahead to the next phase of the salvage operation and preparing to remove containers from the vessel.

The crane barge ST60, from Gladstone in Australia, was on scene and would undertake sea trials. This vessel would be used to remove containers once the fuel recovery was complete.





  1. Kevin says:

    Hurry Up!!!
    Remove containers now and might be too late.

  2. Peter in Sydney says:

    Kevin, It is probably better to keep the Rena as heavy as possible so that it does not float off the reef before all of the oil is removed. Then the containers come next followed by the ship itself.


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