Svitzer Wins Contract to Remove Oil from Sunken Baltic Ace
Danish company Svitzer with its salvage headquarters based in The Netherlands, reports it has been awarded the contract for the removal of oil from the car carrier Baltic Ace.
The 2007 built vessel sank in the North Sea following a collision with a container vessel on December 5. Five crew members of the Baltic Ace were confirmed dead in the tragic incident whilst another six seafarers are missing and are now presumed dead. Meanwhile Dutch Navy have been assigned to carry out inspection of the vessel for the missing crew. As soon as weather permits they will start operations for the recovery of any bodies of the missing seafarers.
This weekend salvage experts from Svitzer have started planning for the oil recovery and oil removal operations. At the time of her collision Baltic Ace was carrying about 466 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and about 55 tonnes of diesel oil. Weather permitting Svitzer divers will commence their inspections of the vessel later this week and in full coordination with the Dutch Navy.
Based on the assessments of the Svitzer divers at their initial inspection the necessary preparations will be made to recover and remove oil from the ship whilst identifying the best methods to safeguard the marine environment. The operation will involve the installation of hot tap valves in the bunker tanks concerned. The oil from Baltic Ace will be pumped from the vessels’ tanks and transferred to a diving support/supply vessel. The operation is weather dependent and is expected to take between two and four weeks. Resources to remove the fuel from Baltic Ace include amongst others divers, a diving support/supply vessel, pumps, hoses and air diving equipment.
The water depth at the site is about 36 meters with some 6 meters between the Baltic Ace and the surface. Buoys are marking the location of the wreck.
Press Release, December 11, 2012