Ministry Intervenes in hazardous situation BOPEC

Tanks Bopec foto HL
Photo: Harald Linkels

Kralendijk – The Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT)) has decided on imposing an order for administrative coercion (last onder bestuursdwang, LOB) at the oil terminal BOPEC on Bonaire.

A number of the tanks and pipe-lines of the company must be emptied on short notice, because the risk of leakage increases. BOPEC turns out  not to be able to take away the safety risks. The ILT considers this  unacceptable and is taking the necessary measures in order to take away  risks to people and the environment. The costs will be recovered at BOPEC later on.

During the inspection of ILT, Department of Waterways and Public Works  (Rijkswaterstaat), Inspectorate SZW and the Fire brigade, it was determined that all of the necessary improvement projects of the past few years, due to a lack of funding from the Venezuelan parent company, have stagnated. In April of 2020 follow-up inspections were to take place, however, due to the corona virus, these inspections had to be cancelled. In the meantime the situation at the company has deteriorated further. There are still 5 tanks filled with fuel oil, but due to the bad conditions of the jetties, ships cannot load or unload the oil at BOPEC. The company reported in late July that the floating roof of the largest tank has a leak. As a result, the roof can fill up with rainwater and sink during heavy rainfall. A sinking roof can cause major damage to the tank wall, allowing the contents to flow out.

The ILT believes that this tank and four other tanks should be pumped empty as quickly as possible. To do this, two empty but previously renovated tanks must first be inspected and tested. With the use of administrative coercion, the ILT takes matters into its own hands and will order the inspection and testing of the renovated tanks and the transfer of oil. The necessary actions are discussed in advance with BOPEC, in order to use their knowledge and experience as much as possible.

Latest News

Deel dit artikel