Rena Oil Pumping Update


As at 3pm today, a total of 225 tonnes of heavy fuel oil has been pumped from the number 5 starboard fuel oil tank into the tanker Awanuia. This is from a total of 358 tonnes originally in the tank.

This is how Rena looks today.

Rena while oil is transferred to Go Canopus and Awanuia | LOC


As clean-up operations around the Bay of Plenty continue, oil spill responders say they are “heartened” by the progress being made by salvors removing oil from the container ship Rena.

Salvors have been pumping oil continuously from the submerged starboard number 5 tank since Wednesday night, and were currently maintaining a rate of around 4 tonnes an hour.

Maritime New Zealand  Salvage Unit Manager Arthur Jobard said  this rate was expected to slow as the operation reached the point where the oil and seawater in the tank met.

National On Scene Commander Rob Service said oil spill response teams out in the field were encouraged by the good progress made by Svitzer’s salvage team.

“Our teams have been out on the coastline all around the Bay of Plenty and have been hands on with the oil that has washed up on these shores,” Mr Service said.

“We’ve seen regional council staff, New Zealand Defence Force personnel and, of course, volunteers working day in, day out removing oil from the beaches, all the while knowing there was the potential for another significant release.

“While that threat is not over, every drop of oil the salvors remove from the ship is another drop of oil we will not need to clean up. It’s great news for us that we are getting closer to the point where the risk of another significant spill from Rena is gone.”

Mr Service said teams were out throughout the Bay of Plenty today, on Matakana and Rabbit Islands, and at Mount Maunganui, Pāpāmoa and Maketū.

Oil spill response teams were focusing on areas where there were significant levels of oil in the sand and on rocky shorelines, to prevent it remobilising and affecting other areas.

Beach access restrictions remain in place from Tay Street to Maketū.

Mr Service said while he had hoped some access restrictions would be lifted this weekend, it was now likely that would happen next week.

“We have a process to follow before we can lift the access restrictions, including ongoing surveys and consultation with key parties.

“We know people want to get onto some of those beaches, but we can’t rush in – we must ensure we have worked carefully through that process.”

Mr Service also reminded recreational and commercial vessel owners to keep clear of the booms and other equipment being used in the Renaresponse, including the oil boom across Southeast Bay at Mayor Island.

A gap in the boom is marked with flashing lights at night and orange buoys during the day, and vessels should navigate with caution, he said.

The navigational maritime exclusion zone, set by the Regional Harbourmaster, remains in place.






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