Different ships carrying people, products and raw materials travel the Baltic Sea in heavy traffic. This leads to a significant risk for maritime accidents resulting in oil spills and severe environmental damage. The efficiency of the existing techniques to respond to oil spills strongly depends on (1) how long it takes to reach the accident location and (2) the meteorological and hydrodynamic site conditions. To mitigate these limitations, new techniques are needed and transnational cooperations needs to be in place to respond fast and sea state independent. From 2016 to 2019 the project SB-Oil will work in this field to support preserving the Baltic Sea Ecosystem, its residents and its blue and green economy.
The project SB-Oil is focused on two main objectives: (sboil-info-Flyer)
- Uptake of a new spill response technology called BioBind to train staff and strengthen existing cross-border spill response capacities.
- Awareness rising in different administrational levels and the public regarding oil spill response in the South Baltic Area
The Uptake of the new spill response technology will be carried out through a joint purchase of the individual technical components of the system by the project partners and three different types of training. (1) Multinational trainings on the practical use of the gear in the open sea will be carried out in close cooperation with national incident command centers, HELCOM and EMSA. (2) Predefined scenarios on the towing behaviour of the netboom for seaborne binder recovery will be designed for a professional nautical simulator. Different classes will teach navigational aspects resulting from the netboom towage combined with operative aspects depending on the designed spill scenario. (3) Spill response managers will be trained with a custom made Table Top Exercise which includes operational aspects of the BioBind system and „natural“ influences depending on the spillsize and the location. Decision makers will face a complex situation and learn how to manage a spill using BioBind.
Awareness rising will be achieved by different activities. National workshops on oil spill response will be carried out in every country of the South Baltic Programme (Germany, Sweden, Poland, Denmark & Lithuania). The content of the workshops will be designed on the basis of a stakeholder analysis to identify national needs and to adress different administrational levels. A multilingual handbook will be designed, summarizing basic knowledge about oil spills, response measures (incl. BioBind) and administrative approaches of the South Baltic countries and their interaction in a reader-friendly way for non-specialists. A final conference including a BioBind live demonstration will close project activities.
BioBind is an effective and fast oil spill recovery system for coastal waters and the open sea, applicable in good and bad weather conditions. The system is based on the airborne deployment of biogenic oil binders. The binders are made of wood fibre and have an oil-binding capacity of 600 kg/m³. Their application was tested with small planes but it is scalable to bigger planes to adopt to bigger spills. Saturated binders are recovered at sea, using a customized netboom which can be used in high sea state conditions andat the shore using mobile vacuum technology.