Minister Asen Lichev issued a coercive administrative measure for the suspension of the unloading of the “Vera Su” ship

28 Sep, 2021 | 11:52

The Minister of Environment and Water Asen Lichev issued a coercive administrative measure to the Executive Agency “Maritime Administration” to suspend the activities of unloading the cargo - urea, from the Black Sea vessel “Vera Su” due to the imminent danger of pollution of Black Sea waters.

RIEW officials found that when the cargo from the “Vera Su” ship was unloaded by a water grapple crane onto small vessels, part of the cargo fell into the sea. The spillage of the cargo in the Black Sea area was observed during the transfer from the stranded ship to the other vessel.

The applied method of unloading is radically different from the one approved by the MOEW. At a meeting with the institutions responsible for carrying out the rescue operation, held late yesterday at the Black Sea Region Basin Directorate, it was decided that 700 tons of the ship’s cargo were to be packed in one-ton bags. The packaged cargo was then to be transported by barges with enhanced safety measures for the marine environment. The method proposed by the Maritime Administration and approved by the Ministry of Environment and Water constituted unloading through canvas decks, which were to be filled with a grapple from onboard the ship through a special facility (funnel) and then transfered by crane to the barge. At the meeting, special attention was paid to the fact that a canvas must be stretched between the stranded ship and the barge to prevent possible contamination. In practice, the actions implemented were radically different from the approved.

The unloading activity was suspended until the availability of environmentally friendly technology, which does not result in spillage of cargo and water pollution.