Energy ministry: More NOFI current busters deployed, skimming system at Cove

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Officials and workers assisting in the oil-spill clean-up at Cove, Tobago. – Photo courtesy Ministry of Energy

THE Ministry of Energy and Energy Industries on March 6 said two more NOFI current busters have been deployed in the Tobago oil spill clean-up. The NOFI current buster is a high-speed oil containment system capable of collecting any oil type at speeds up to five knots.

The oil spill was caused by an overturned barge – the Gulfstream – which was found lodged on a reef near Cove. The barge was being towed from Panama to Guyana by a tug boat – the Solo Creed. No one has claimed responsibility for the environmental disaster. Investigations are ongoing.

In a media release, the ministry said there was an early-morning safety and operations briefing with representatives from the ministry, T&T Salvage and QT Environmental, Tobago Emergency Management Authority (TEMA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Authority and Agency (OSHA) preceded the deployment of the new systems.

It said a rapid deployment skimming system (RDSS) is also on site off the coast of Cove. The skimming system can be used to recover concentrated oil utilising the pump only or as a skimmer to remove only the top layer of oil from the current buster. This tactic will help ensure an efficient recovery of product versus sea water which will help to avoid excessive waste handling.