Rena update (update 89)

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Rena update (update 89)

11 November 2011: 7.00pm

Good progress continues to be made in removing the last of the oil from the submerged number 5 starboard fuel oil tank on the grounded container ship Rena, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ) says.

MNZ Salvage Unit Manager Arthur Jobard said salvors had maintained continuous pumping of heavy fuel oil from Rena to the tanker Awanuia today.

At 6am this morning, around 116 tonnes of oil had been removed from the 358 tonnes in the starboard tank and the flow rate has held steady all day at about 4 tonnes per hour.

"We have now removed around a third of the heavy fuel oil from this tank. We are making good progress thanks to an extra pump on the line," said Mr Jobard.

The team was using a ‘hot tapping’ technique, which is a method of extracting oil from the submerged tank without allowing the oil in the tank to leak out.

"The team has also been removing the last remnants of lubricating oil, along with emptying the storage tanks. Tomorrow the team hopes to start sucking out the final bits of heavy fuel oil from the bottom of number 5 port fuel oil tank," he said.

The weather forecast for the next few days was good for salvage operations, with only minimal swells and light winds. The clear weather was forecast to remain until Wednesday.

Assistant National On-Scene Commander Scott Read said beach clean-up events will continue at the weekend. On Saturday clean-up crews will be at Papamoa, Matakana Island and Maketu and on Sunday at Matakana Island and Papamoa.

A total of 904 tonnes of oily waste has so far been collected by the clean-up crews.

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