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Oil Spill Barge launch marks a New Zealand first

MEDIA RELEASE
Date: 04 April 2005

Barge launch marks a New Zealand first

New Zealand has a new tool to combat significant marine oil spills, and it’s the first of its kind in New Zealand.

Minister for Transport Safety Harry Duynhoven launched New Zealand’s first oil skimmer barge, Taranui, at Marsden Point Oil Refinery today.

The Maritime Safety Authority (MSA) has been working for 18 months on the design and construction of the 8.2 metre long barge at a cost of around $200,000.

“Since around the time of the Jody F Millennium spill (Gisborne 2002) we’ve been working with some of our partners to strengthen New Zealand’s extensive oil spill response arsenal.

“Having the Taranui means that rather than waiting to collect oil during a big spill
we can now go and try and recover it.

“She’ll be a fantastic tool when tackling a spill and be of real value in protecting our marine environment,” says MSA Manager Marine Pollution Response Service Nick Quinn.

The Taranui is being leased by the New Zealand Refining Company for ten years and will be based at Marsden Point as part of their oil spill response plan.

Backgrounder - Launch of new oil skimmer barge


NZ’s first skimmer barge during trials on Auckland Harbour, February 2005.

- After over 18 months of planning, designing and construction, MSA has taken delivery of New Zealand's first mobile oil skimmer barge.

- It will give NZ an on-water capacity during an oil spill. The barge can be used to collect and retrieve oil, spread dispersant or place a skimmer (oil retrieval device). Simply put - we can now go to the oil rather than waiting for it to come to us.

- The Jody F Millennium spill (Gisborne 2002) highlighted the need for an on-water capability and during the Tai Ping incident (Bluff 2002) MSA borrowed one from our Australian counterparts.

- The barge is based on a US design and was built in Kumeu by Bos and Carr Ltd at a cost of around $200,000 (fitted).

- The barge is 8.2 metres long by 2.4 metres wide and has a top speed of about 25 knots when empty.

- The barge is being leased by the New Zealand Refining Company and will be based at Marsden Point as part of their oil spill response plan.

- Two more barges have been approved by the Oil Pollution Advisory Committee (OPAC) and MSA - these should be ready around by the end of June.

ENDS

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