Oil Spill at GEBE Quickly Contained

An oil spill occurred Thursday morning at the GEBE power plant. The effects on the environment were reduced due to quick action from the GEBE employees and recuperation efforts that continued through the day to remove as much oil as possible from the sea.  

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Normally the GEBE Waste Oil Treatment System (WTS) skims off any waste oil from the production process before it can reach the environment. The waste oil is collected and then added into the fuel used to run the diesel engines used to generate electricity thereby eliminating any waste oil. However, on Thursday morning, the GEBE Waste Treatment System (WTS) overloaded causing the waste oil to overflow into the sea.

A power plant shift supervisor discovered the oil leak approximately 6:30 a.m. Thursday morning and immediately shut down the Waste Treatment System. The contents of the WTS oil traps were then temporarily pumped into a holding reservoir until the WTS was operational again. A small boat was launched with a crew using special oil absorbent pads to soak up the oil.

The power plant management team explained the measures that were being taken to reduce the impact on the environment to representatives of VROM, the Coast Guard, the Harbor Master, the Fire Department and environmental organizations. The team also gave a tour of the current Waste Treatment System and gave an update of the GEBE Oil Containment Boom project.

GEBE has started construction of an oil boom some time ago. Marine engineering works already executed were severely damaged due to unfavorable wave action and surf in Cay Bay. The oil boom would be connected to two walls extending into the sea and would contain the oil. Then a skimmer would be used to recover any oil.