29th September 2016, 18:57
A significant part of the Algeciras coastline was affected by an oil spill that took place on Tuesday night. It was caused by a mechanical failure in a crude oil floating station, property of the CEPSA refinery. Around 500 litres of crude, mixed with water, seeped into the Bay prompting an extensive clean-up operation. Although the Spanish authorities say the spill is under control, a 500-metre oil slick has affected the shore at El Rinconcillo beach.
The Environmental Safety Group is calling for an independent review of all the critical infrastructure and systems at Cepsa, following the oil spill.
The ESG believes the final volume of spill will only be realised in time and states the discrepancy is a further cause for concern. It feels the control of equipment, systems and prevention measures need to be monitored from outside the industry and that penalties for any spill have to be of a magnitude that will cause a new, increased level of care and prevention. With a large investment recently announced by CEPSA, the Group claims the refinery must invest in upgrading infrastructure and safety systems and not simply expand operations and its profitability.
Given the environmental impact of crude oil spills, the ESG urges for measures to also be taken at cross-border level to ensure these don’t happen again.