KRALENDIJK- Between March 17and 19, 2020 more than 220,000 barrels of fuel oil were pumped from BOPEC to the tanker ‘Altair’, under the supervision of inspectors from Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) and the Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie leefomgeving enTransport, ILT). The tanker left for Rotterdam on the 20th of March.
The use of the jetties at the (bankrupt) BOPEC for the loading and unloading of oil had been prohibited by RWS since May 2019 due to serious overdue maintenance, which made safe loading impossible.
Since March 2021, improvement measures and repairs to one jetty and other installations have been carried out by the trustee together with BOPEC’s staff. As a result, RWS has again permitted the use of this jetty from the 2nd of March 2022, subject to conditions.
In the two weeks preceding the loading, inspectors from RWS and ILT were present to assess the (repair) work. The loading process between the17th and 19th of March was also closely monitored by RWS and the ILT, in cooperation with the Veiligheidsregio Rotterdam Rijnmond (Safety Region Rotterdam Rijnmond) .
BOPEC is an oil terminal on Bonaire owned by PdVSA, the state oil company of Venezuela. BOPEC was declared bankrupt by the Court on the 18th of March 2021 with the appointment of a trustee who is (ultimately) responsible for BOPEC’s current operations. BOPEC’s bankruptcy was mainly caused by the years of economic sanctions against Venezuela, which made it impossible to carry out financial transactions. As a result, all activities came to a halt, while there was still a lot of oil in two large storage tanks.
The sale and removal of part of the fuel oil is an important step in the settlement of BOPEC’s bankruptcy and a positive development for the restart of the terminal.