Stakeholder urges legislation to protect against oil spills

first_imgOil & gas sector– says double-hull oil tankers, compulsory booms necessaryBy Jarryl BryanGuyana is still reliant on Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) despite plans to transition to renewable energy. But one industry stakeholder, with a background in both shipping and oil, believes legislation to protect local waterways is sorely lacking.Gaico Construction and General Services provides, among other things, oil spill response services. In an interview with Guyana Times, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, Komal Singh spoke of the dangers of an oil spill and best practices around the world to prevent these occurrences.Gaico Chief Executive Officer Komal Singh“We have a lot of fuel transporting in our waterways,” he said. “And when you look at contingency plans and mitigating strategies when discharging or loading fuel, there are none. If there is a human error in terms of connecting a hose to a pipe, there (may not be) any booms around the vessels to contain it (the oil).“So, by the time someone responds, it gone in the river. What we are pushing for, from a good corporate citizen standpoint, we want to see legislation to ensure that any vessel discharging or loading fuel should have booms around those vessels before such activities take place.”Because of its composition, oil floats on top of the surface of water. A boom is a flotation device that surrounds a vessel and/or, in the case of an oil spill, surrounds the spill. It is deployed using a boom reel, in much the same way a fishing reel works.Singh explained that the Demerara River flowed at approximately five knots per hour, a rate he described as very fast. He noted that if oil were to spill without being contained, it would likely spread quickly in the River.The CEO also explained that some persons were transporting HFO in single-hull vessels. He cited the example of the Valdez oil spill, which occurred in 1989 when oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef off the Alaskan coast and spilled millions of gallons of crude oil. It is widely considered as one of the worst man-made environmental disasters.“We have wreckage in our river. And in moving fuel oil in single-hull vessels, it means fuel is going in and storing in a compartment and if that compartment punctures, the fuel will disappear out of the tank. Now the US has banned the use of single-hull vessels, since the Valdez spill. All vessels carrying fuel must be double hull. It means there is a separation between the (compartments).“Our issues are right in our backyard … we need to have legislation to push stakeholders dealing with fuel to use double-hull vessels. Imagine one of those vessels moving 3000 barrels of fuel oil, and it runs into a wreck under the water and it spills. You don’t want to imagine the amount of area 1000 barrels of fuel oil can cover and shut down. Imagine you have a spring tide! We’re hoping legislation will pass to fix (these) things.”Oil spill servicesGaico’s oil spill services were launched in 2016, when President David Granger commissioned what would be Guyana’s first oil spill response operation service at the Gaico Wharf at Nismes, West Bank Demerara.It was set up as a pre-emptive measure against possible spillage once oil and gas production commenced in the future. Asked for an update on the operations, Singh said that the service regularly engaged staff in training exercises. He noted that they were put through rigorous training sessions to sharpen their ability to handle real-life situations.“Gaico is still very active in oil spill response. We’re continuing training in house with our employees. We have another training scheduled for January. And all our training we do is done in the Demerara River, so the guys get the feeling of how a boom that one guy can pull on land, how it gets difficult in the water, where you need six or seven men and a boat to pull it due to water pressure,” the CEO explained.With oil production expected to begin soon in the Stabroek block, a study was done last year by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on the matter. It had found that while an oil spill was possible, factors such as the location of Exxon’s subsidiary Esso Exploration and Production Guyana Limited (EEPGL) operations combined with the region’s water temperature would minimise the effects.There is also a draft National Oil Spill Contingency plan, for which public consultations were held earlier this year. It was reported last month that the EPA had commenced a review of the document.last_img read more

Middleton and Team Tardi represent Canada at World Junior Curling Championships

first_imgGANGNUENG, SOUTH KOREA – Sterling Middleton and the rest of Team Tardi have arrived in South Korea, and will be playing in the their first game of the 2017 VoIP Defender World Junior Curling Championships.The Fort St. John native and his teammates left Vancouver on Monday for the 15 hour journey to represent Canada in Gangneung, South Korea. The event is being treated as a dress rehearsal for next year’s 2018 Winter Olympics, as the Olympic curling events are to be played on the same ice surface that Middleton and his teammates will be curling on later today.The quartet, comprised of Middleton, brothers Tyler and Jordan Tardi, and Nicholas Meister, will take on Sweden in their first game late tonight. Team Canada will also be squaring off against the hosts Korea and China this week. The bonspiel’s round robin wraps up on February 23rd, followed by playoffs.- Advertisement -Team Canada plays Team Sweden tonight at 10:00 Fort St. John time. All games will be streamed live on World Curling TV’s YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/user/WorldCurlingTV.The team’s full schedule is as follows:Mountain Time       Time in Korea    OpponentFeb 15 – 10 pm    Feb 16 – 2 pm    SwedenFeb 16 – 5 pm    Feb 17 – 9 am    KoreaFeb 17 – 3 am    Feb 17 – 7 pm    ChinaFeb 18 – 5 pm    Feb 19 – 9 am    ItalyFeb 19 – 3 am    Feb 19 – 7 pm    USAFeb 19 – 10 pm    Feb 20 – 2 pm    NorwayFeb 21 – 3 am    Feb 21 – 7 pm    SwitzerlandFeb 21 – 10 pm    Feb 22 – 2 pm    TurkeyFeb 23 – 3 am    Feb 23 – 7 pm    ScotlandAdvertisementlast_img read more

By the book! Donegal libraries to get €230,000 in funding

first_imgGovernment Chief Whip Joe McHugh has announced €230,000 is to be invested in the county’s library services.The funding is part of a new national Government strategy for local libraries being rolled out by Rural Affairs and Communities Minister Michael Ring.“I am delighted to be able to announce the Donegal allocation from this €3.7M funding today,” said Minister McHugh. “A new library strategy is being developed and will be launched early in 2018 and is aimed at increasing both the membership and the use of our public libraries.“Minister Ring has allocated €172,000 to Donegal with Donegal County Council providing matching funds of €57,500.”The funding will help the promotion of the library service, the development of the library workforce and continuing development of quality services that will attract an increased number of users and members over the five-year period of the strategy.Deputy McHugh added “The investment by central and local government here in Co Donegal will significantly modernise the public library service, enhancing the range and quality of services available to users and, most importantly, providing a strong base to underpin the launch of the new library strategy in 2018. “I want to thank Minister Ring for his support in this initiative which is very welcome news for Donegal.”By the book! Donegal libraries to get €230,000 in funding was last modified: November 9th, 2017 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalfundingLIBRARIESMinister Joe McHughlast_img read more