Oil that had spilled into Whangarei Harbour yesterday afternoon from the crude oil tanker HS Alcina has been confirmed as coming from her bunker (fuel) tanks.
The spill was discovered at approximately 4pm yesterday and triggered a full incident response. An oil spill response team comprising refinery and regional council staff used sorbent booms to stop the spill from washing ashore on the beach between the refinery and Northport. The oil skimming barge ‘Taranui’ was used to capture oil outside the boomed area.
As a precaution the Company mobilised teams at first light to look for traces of oil along the shoreline and at sea. While this morning’s search found nothing the teams remain on the lookout, but the response is being wound down.
Refining NZ CEO, Sjoerd Post, thanked the local community for the many messages of support and offers of help the Company had received. He also paid tribute to the agencies involved, their staff and Refining NZ’s own for helping to manage the incident successfully.
“We were encouraged by the enormous assistance we received from the Northland Regional Council, other agencies, our contractors and the many offers of help from the general public,” Post said.
“As unfortunate as the incident was, I hope that the response will reassure the public and particularly our neighbours, that we take these things seriously and that through investment in time, equipment and training, we are prepared for these type of events.”