On the morning of Tuesday 11 June, an anti-pollution exercise was held on the site of the offshore urban extension project. The fictitious scenario involved a significant leak of hydraulic oil from a vessel installing the protective shell for the band of caissons.
The exercise was carried out in real time under the direction of the Marine and Airport Police Division (DPMA), in association with Government authorities (the Fire and Emergency Service and the Department of Maritime Affairs, among others), teams from Bouygues Travaux Publics Monaco and its subcontractors, the Monaco Port Authority (SEPM), the URBAMER project team and the company SAM Anse du Portier.=
Seven vessels and around 20 people were mobilised on site.
A crisis cell comprising teams from the Government, URBAMER, Bouygues TP and SAM Anse du Portier was immediately set up to coordinate operations to control the pollution and ensure cohesion across the various human and material resources deployed.
Timetable of operations:
- Beginning of crisis at 9.03 am: a hydraulic oil delivery hose bursts on board the Edmond (Trasomar) barge which is in the water at the site.
- Alert procedures are triggered with the various parties involved (in chronological order): Bouygues TP Mc, Government authorities (DPMA, Department of Maritime Affairs, Fire and Emergency Service), SEPM, URBAMER, SAM Anse du Portier.
- 9.15 am: teams from the company Ecotank, which has been commissioned by Bouygues TP to provide a round-the-clock response to potential pollution incidents, jump into action.
- Absorbent booms are deployed to soak up the leaked hydraulic oil.
- Subcontractor teams intervene: two 2-person teams are responsible for setting up screens in a horseshoe configuration and collecting any pollutants that are discharged.
- Skimming is carried out on the surface of the water to remove viscous hydrocarbons; residue is stored on a barge.
- Preventive measures are taken to protect the Spélugues and Larvotto reserves.
- Teams from the Department of Maritime Affairs close off access to Port Hercule.
- 10.22 am: the DPMA declares the exercise over; the anti-pollution screens are removed.
The exercise provided an opportunity to assess the adequacy of emergency procedures and test the process for triggering them. It also confirmed the responsiveness and effective coordination of all the various stakeholders, both public and private, when faced with this type of scenario, and validated the role of Ecotank in tackling any pollution incidents on the project site. In sum, the exercise tested the effectiveness of the pollution response resources in place and strengthened operational coordination between the partners working on the project.