Commemorates 70 years of IMO services
Our Special Correspondent
Karachi Port Trust (KPT) has worked over 7 decades to establish collective expertise for oil spill preparedness to secure safe shipping on clean oceans.
This was stated by the Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar while speaking as Chief Guest at a 2-Day Workshop on “Preparedness and Response against Oil Spill Emergencies in Pakistani waters” in recognition of 70 years services of International Maritime Organization (IMO) here on Monday. The workshop was attended by delegates representing stakeholders from Karachi as well as from Gaddani and Hub coast delegates and it was organized to evolve strategies that could lead to ensure safe and secured shipping on clean oceans.
He further said that the oil spills are inevitable due to requirements to store and transport oil by sea. There are devastating effects of oil spills that led to the creation of much-needed cooperation between countries, organizations and industries, he pointed out.
KPT has setup Marine Pollution Control Department to implement learning opportunities in respect of oil spill preparedness and response since more than two and half decades and the efforts are well paid to produce Oil Spill Contingency Plan along with procurement of necessary equipment, he said, adding, the plan is updated regularly and oil spill response exercise is conducted jointly with the oil and shipping industry stakeholders.
Summing up the objectives of the workshop, the Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar further pointed out that it will cover the levels I and II of IMO on Oil Spill Response Technology and deployment of equipment while providing a platform to stakeholders to review the existing capacity of Pakistan to combat any unforeseen oil spill emergency in the Arabian Sea.
He said that this will ultimately result in evolving an integrated strategy focusing objectives to enhance preparedness and response capabilities while understanding local and international oil handling standards and by reviewing the efficiency of shipping industry under IMO Convention “OPRC-90” – which encourages cooperation in areas like the contingency planning and coordinated response procedure, establishment of equipment stocks sufficient to deal with oil pollution risks, research and development programs, training and exercise, programs to facilitate oil spill response, shipboard pollution emergency plans, technical cooperation and international cooperation for oil spill control.
The Chairman KPT said that he foresees that participants will be able to apply proper planning techniques in the deployment of oil spill response equipment during the course of a workshop which ultimately strengthens their command on planning to any kind of oil spill emergency when they face.
He said that we were not prepared Tasman Spirit oil spill catastrophe hit us but since then we have built equipment to tackle such incidents and we have been doing drills on regular basis to keep ourselves ready to avert such disasters on our port and coastline.
Based on Tasman Spirit experience, he said, we have prepared National Marine Disaster Contingency Plan in 2007 and since then we have conducted 8 national level exercises so far.
Still, there is a room exists to train our human resources and stakeholders of the oil industry, ship owners and government agencies through various workshops as Pakistan imports 15 million metric tons of hydrocarbon products annually, he added.
The workshop has broadly covered topics of IMO’s level I and II of oil spill response technology and equipment development to combat any unforeseen oil spill emergency evolving in the Arabian Sea.
While speaking on the occasion, the Oil Spill Response expert and Regional Director Elastic, Jan Hoven spoke on oil spill response and international obligations and on strategies with respect to IMO level I and II in the first technical session.
Later on, in a technical session, he remained focused on oil spill-related technologies and equipment. Other guest speakers Rear Admiral (Retd) Pervaiz Asghar and Dr Samina Qudwai also spoke on the occasion which concluded building equipment, technology and strategy to combat pollution faced Pakistani coastline.