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Progress in Port of Rotterdam pollution clean-up operation

During the weekend of 23 and 24 June, severe water pollution occurred in Rotterdam’s 3rd Petroleumhaven. Port of Rotterdam Authority and the Directorate-General for Public Works and Water Management (RWS) are coordinating the clean-up operation. The Port Authority will issue regular updates on the progress of the clean-up.

The current situation as of 1pm on Monday 25 June:

  • The Port of Rotterdam Authority’s top priority is to clean the water in the port and the contaminated ships. Priority is being given to this so the ships can sail in and out of the ports again and the supply chain activities can be resumed.
  • Of the 200 tonnes or more of spilled oil, around 100 tonnes has already been cleared.
  • The clean-up is currently expected to last several more days. Hebo, a company that specialises in this kind of work, is carrying out the job using six special cleaning vessels.
  • Since Sunday, a ship wash facility has been operational in the Geulhaven to clean more than 50 affected inland vessels. Three ships have already been cleaned.
  • Later today the ship wash facility for sea-going vessels will be opened at buoy 66 in the Botlek area and will clean 15 contaminated ships in total.
  • Once the port water and the ships have been cleaned, the cleaning of the contaminated port infrastructure, such as the jetties, the embankments, quays and the slopes will be tackled. This work will also be carried out by Hebo and is expected to take at least several weeks.
  • The 3rd Petroleumhaven and Geulhaven have been closed off to traffic since the weekend. Port of Rotterdam Authority is doing everything in its power to re-open parts or all of the closed off areas as soon as possible.
  • Sailing into and out of the 3rd Petroleumhaven and Geulhaven is only allowed with the permission of the Harbour Master.
  • To prevent the spread of oil, Port of Rotterdam Authority has deployed oil containment booms.
  • The installation of the oil booms was successful but some of the oil had already spread beyond the incident area. As a result, the oil has sadly hit the waterfowl in the polluted area. RWS is also coordinating the job of rescuing and cleaning of oil-soaked birds with Dierenambulance (animal rescue) and Vogelbescherming (bird protection), for which a national unit has been deployed.
Source: Port of Rotterdam