Oil-control material for Saba and St. Eustatius

Company BDS-Harlingen in the Netherlands has re­ceived an order from the Rijkswaterstaat department at the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management to supply high-tech oil control equip­ment to Bonaire, Saba and St. Eustatius.

BDS-Harlingen is a com­pany that specializes in the removal of environmental­ly- harmful materials, such as oil, paraffin, dead fish, blue algae and seaweed. In the past 25 years, not only pollutive substances were removed, but also a num­ber of dead whales were also expertly disposed of. Along the IJsselmeer in­land lake in the Nether­lands various quantities of oil have been removed, in­cluding from sunken ships at harbour. Recently, the company cleaned the beach of Wadden Sea island Vlieland in connection with paraffin pollution. BDS said in a press release it uses its knowledge to arrive at innovative and sustain­able developments.

Company BDS-Harlingen providing training in the use of material to combat oil pollution at Saba’s Fort Bay harbour

A few months ago, BDS delivered eight containers with materials to combat oil pollution in Bonaire. The local authorities were trained in using a hydraulic oil screen and the use of a lightweight oil-containment screen was practiced at Lac Bay.

BDS makes use of the knowledge it has gained with oil clearing when making oil equipment and advises their customers ac­cordingly.

“There are only a few companies in the world that are both exporter/contrac­tor and supplier. BDS it­self adjusts materials to the requirements of the local situation,” owner/director of BDS Andre Borsch said.

A container ship with cargo destined for Statia and Saba arrived on Sep­tember 13 in St. Maarten, where these were loaded on roll-on-roll-off vessels for transportation to these two special entities.

On September 25, BDS delivered four containers in Statia. In addition to theory, the local authori­ties also received practical training in the launching of an oil screen and a skim­mer. “The islanders present were very enthusiastic and are convinced that these materials will be very effec­tive during possible oil con­tamination,” Borsch said.

On September 27, BDS delivered the last three containers in Saba. “Again, we were received by very enthusiastic people. A BDS team will be present in the coming years to further im­prove the expertise of the authorities,” he stated. BDS said it has also been approached to help fig­ure out to what extent the huge amounts of sargassum seaweed can be removed from the islands’ shores with both new and existing equipment. BDS has de­veloped a lot of equipment that is used for heavy blue algae and seaweed.

Where the “enormous sar­gassum problems” in both Bonaire and St. Maarten are concerned, BDS said it is “convinced” that when nothing is done about these problems they will cause “se­rious” economic problems. “The flora and fauna will also be affected very badly by the influence of rotting sargassum. As an expert in the field of oil removal, BDS has indicated that it would like to cooperate with the authorities to re­move the amount of sargas­sum in the short term and to come up with a struc­tural solution in the longer term,” stated Borsch.

The Daily Herald.

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