Chairman Kpt Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar highlights that KPT has worked over 7 decades to establish collective expertise for oil spill preparedness and response
Karachi Port Trust (KPT) commemorated 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). The workshop was attended by delegates representing stakeholders from Karachi as well as from Gadani and Hub coast delegates; and it was organized to evolve strategies that could lead to ensure safe and secured shipping on clean oceans.
While speaking on the occasion the Chief Guest Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar highlighted that KPT has worked over 7 decades to establish collective expertise for oil spill preparedness to secure safe shipping on clean oceans. He said that oil spills are inevitable because of the requirements to store and transport oil by sea. He pointed out that it is the devastating effects of oil spills that led to the creation of much needed cooperation between countries, organizations and industries. He said that 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 of to produce Oil Spill Contingency Plan along with procurement of necessary equipment. The plan is updated regularly and oil spill response exercise is conducted jointly with the oil and shipping industry stakeholders, he added.
Summing up the objectives of the workshop, the Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar pointed out that it will cover the levels I & II of IMO on Oil Spill Response technology and deployment of equipment while providing 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 programmes, training and exercise, programmes to facilitate oil spill response, shipboard pollution emergency plans, technical cooperation and international cooperation for oil spill control.
The Chairman KPT Rear Admiral Jamil Akhtar said that he foresees that participants will be able to apply proper planning techniques in deployment of oil spill response equipment during the course of 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. He said that based on Tasman Spirit experience, we have prepared National Marine Disaster Contingency Plan in 2007 and since then we have conducted 8 national level exercises so far. Still there exist room to train our human resources and stakeholders of oil industry, ship owners and government agencies through various workshops as Pakistan imports 15 million metric tons of hydrocarbon products annually.
The workshop has broadly covered topics of IMO’s level I & 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 Mr. Jan Hoven spoke on oil spill response and international obligations and on strategies with respect to IMO level I & II in the first technical session. Later on in technical session he remained focussed to oil spill related technologies and equipment.
Other guest speakers Rear Admiral (R) Pervaiz Asghar and Dr. Samina Qudwai also spoke on the occasion which concluded building equipment, technology and strategy to combat pollution faced Pakistani coastline.