As part of its on-going commitment to manage incidents in the harbour, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) simulated a major oil spill to test the current capability and processes for response to a tier two hydrocarbon spill.
The major emergency exercise, which PHC carries out every three years, staged a scenario whereby a ferry and a cargo vessel collided, causing fuel to spill from the tank of the cargo vessel.
PHC worked in collaboration with more than 15 organisations, including the MCA, Environment Agency and local authorities to carry out the exercise.
As part of PHC’s response, a number of booms were deployed in the Little and Backwater channels. In a real oil spill situation, the boom would stop any oil flowing into sensitive and environmental areas of the Harbour. A skimmer was also deployed to show how the oil would be captured.
Although a major oil spill in Poole Harbour is very unlikely, it is important that such risk is assessed with a plan in place to respond to such an incident, especially in an environmentally sensitive area as Poole Harbour. The plan is approved by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.
Harbour Master, Captain Brian Murphy said: “These exercises are vitally important to ensure that Poole Harbour Commissioners’ highly trained personnel are prepared to deal with such an unfortunate event professionally and swiftly, plus minimise any health risk, damage to the environment and to ensure business continuity.
“They allow us to test our plan against various scenarios with the aim of gaining experience and improving preparedness and improving the plan itself. These exercises will provide the harbour community with confidence in the knowledge that Poole Harbour Commissioners and other organisations will be prepared in the event of a major oil spill in Poole Harbour.”
Poole Harbour Commissioners has appointed Doug Kettlewell FCMA – a financial leader with extensive global senior management experience – as their new Chief Financial Officer.
Doug has a background of more than 20 years working in many different sized businesses, most recently acting as senior financial controller in British American Tobacco across the UK, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His diverse industry experience also includes energy, media, events and banking.
He has held senior management roles everywhere from American multinational General Electric to prestigious local companies including Farrow and Ball, Exchange Enterprises Ltd and The Richmond Group.
Jim Stewart, chief executive of Poole Harbour Commissioners, said: “We are delighted to welcome Doug on board, and thrilled he is bringing his vast commercial and financial leadership experience to us. His vision, expertise and passion for Poole Harbour made him the obvious choice.”
Poole Harbour Commissioners is responsible for running the commercial port of Poole and overseeing the management of the 10,000 acres which makes up Europe’s largest natural harbour.
Access to the Port of Poole is set to be improved through an award of £66.3 million which has been allocated to the Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in order to improve infrastructure in Dorset. The ‘Growth Deal’ is part of a £12 billion long-term programme aimed to revitalise local economies. Dorset’s will enable Poole Harbour Commissioners to improve access to the Port, by completing a town-side access road scheme, maintaining the original bridge crossing, unlocking growth potential at the port and assisting new redevelopment sites in Poole.
Jim Stewart, chief executive at Poole Harbour Commissioners was very pleased to hear the announcement. He said: “The new transport projects will provide critical infrastructure for the Port of Poole and 26 hectares of brownfield land, which will be one of the largest regeneration areas in the South West. We are delighted that Dorset has received funding from the Growth Deal as part of the Dorset LEP’s Strategic Economic Plan as this link is so vital to Poole’s economy.” Other schemes earmarked for the funding include improved transport schemes and access to Bournemouth Airport and the renewal of the A338 Spur Road, the major artery into Bournemouth from Hampshire. It is anticipated that the overall investment could create 25,000 jobs, see the building of more than 3,000 new homes and instigate up to £530 million in public and private investment. Transport Minister Baroness Kramer visited Port of Poole to learn how the funds will make a tangible difference to Dorset’s economy. An initial £23.9 million will be injected in the first year with a further £42.4 million from 2016/17.
As part of the Master Plan adopted in 2013, Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC) has now submitted an application to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for development consent in order to modernise the commercial port.
The first phase of the development introduces a new quay within the commercial Port area, designed to accommodate a wide range of vessels. The plans will enable the opportunity to attract new vessels, which cannot currently be accepted at the Port, including small cruise ships and other larger vessels.
Significant work has been undertaken by PHC to prepare key documentation, including a comprehensive Environmental Statement report. A successful public consultation event was also held at the Port on April 28 for all interested parties to learn more about their plans.
Commenting on the submission, Jim Stewart, chief executive says; “The phased implementation of our Master Plan proposals is essential in attracting new trades to the Port and developing existing ones. This application to the MMO relates to the commercial quays only and we’d like to emphasise that these proposals do not include the development of a marine centre or marina in Poole Harbour.
“We enjoyed talking to a wide range of stakeholders at our informal drop-in day and were pleased to see significant support for the proposals from a broad spectrum of organisations and general public attending.”
The submission to the Marine Management Organisation includes a Harbour Revision Order under section 14 of the Harbours Act 1964 and an application for a marine license under Part 4 of the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009. Subject to PHC receiving consent, construction of the new quay could commence in 2015.
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