Thursday, October 6, 2011

MV Rena : An environmental disaster is upon us

I have had an interesting afternoon, my research skills are fairly good and my boss knew he would be asked to comment publically at some point on the Rena, I only failed to confirm one of his requests but we were fairly sure that we had the answer to that question should it be asked.

We have been kicking around the MV Rena grounding in the office for a couple of days but not having eyes on the grounding, as it is, we were guessing. Well we are fairly sure that a salvage will not happen, at some point this afternoon another breech in the hull occurred ( TV One News seems to be unaware of this I note as I write ).  This is a huge vessel and has 1700 ton's of heavey fuel oil that converts to the best part of 2 million liters of oil.

" In physics you derive to the coarsest unit of measurement. A ton can be a metric tonne, a short ton or a long ton. You rate 930 kg/m3, so we assume tonne. However, 930 kg per 1000 liters is very heavy for oil.
It depends slightly on things like type, temperature, and pressure, but petroleum oil has an approximate density of 0.88 kg/L
So there will be about 1136.36 liters per tonne"

( Photo from Stuff )
That is a fuck of a lot of oil 1,931,200 liters. It is nasty stuff and we need to get it off the MV Rena fast. Well we have two options and I think both should be used.

We  have two vessels bunker tanker Awanuia

Thanks Trevor at Sea pics on line and HMNZS Endeavour

I think she is in Wellington at the moment and loading heavy  oil will be a pain in the arse and will require  expensive cleaning  Endeavor should have been ordered to sea yesterday I accept that Awanuia is in private hands but that she is sailing to Tauranga  and Endeavor appears to be sitting on  her  backside raises questions in my mind about the competency of our public service to deal with a crisis our Navy should be able to do this, what the hell is happening at the Ministry of Defence and Maritime New Zealand.

OK the ship hit the reef at 17 knots ( probably taking a short cut ) that is not a slow speed when you weigh as much as MV Rena, I would not be in the least surprised to hear that her propellers have been damaged. I don't think she will come off the reef she will probably break up. We do not have the equipment to unload her quickly in NZ  but we can get the fuel off if we act fast.

The containers are a problem, but many will float just under the water maybe we want to think about our salvage rules ? That is an idea that occurred to me  while writing this blog and has not been office discussed.


  1. This is not a good scenario H. I plan to keep an eye on what you are writing here as this issue concerns me a great deal. And thanks for your efforts.

  2. Robert , the ship is going nowhere getting the fuel oil opff is vital. Containers well I am guessing a 200 ton sea crane to do it. I have not seen a sea based crane in NZ. that can do that.
    We can't unload that ship it will require Australian but more likly Asian support