The Dutch government’s hydrographic and oil spill response vessel, M/V Arca, has left the scene of the Baltic Ace and has been replaced with the hydrographic research vessel Zirfaea, which is also government owned. For now the Zirfaea will stay in the area to guide traffic around the vessel. Buoys still mark the wreckage, which rests 6 meters below the surface in a high traffic area just south of the start of the Eurogeul, a deep water channel leading to Rotterdam.
Yesterday, gCaptain reported that the Baltic Ace had 466 tons of heavy fuel oil and 55 tons of marine diesel on board when it sank. These number have been confirmed by a spokesman for Svitzer, the company hired to remove the fuel oil. We have also been told that preparations started over the weekend.
“This week the dive support/stand-by vessel VOS Statisfaction arrived in Ijmuiden, she will be the base ship during the oil removal. We hope our divers can start inspections this week, but it’s a tricky spot with a lot of traffic and severe weather impact.”
Then on the operation itself:
“Two options to get the oil out are connecting lines to the existing bunker system or create new pipelines that connect with the oil tanks. Other recovery methods are also possible, it all depends on the findings of the divers. Svitzer will also try to remove other oils such as lubrication oil, but whether this succeeds depends on the accessibility of the storage tanks. After inspection the operation will take about 2 to 4 weeks.”
Once the oil is removed, then salvage can begin.
“For now Svitzer is only doing the recovery and removal of oils. Who will do the actual salvage of the vessel is not known yet,” the spokesman added.
(Tobias Pieffers contributed to this article)
gCaptain’s FULL Coverage: Baltic Ace Sinking