Nova Scotia

Fuel leak stopped in Halifax harbour

Work crews were able to stop the flow of diesel fuel and lubricating oil Monday that was leaking from a massive platform that sank at the Halifax Shipyard on the weekend.

Work crews were able to stop the flow of diesel fuel and lubricating oil Monday that was leaking from a massive platform that sank at the Halifax Shipyard on the weekend.

The dry dock, owned by JD Irving Ltd., is lying on the bottom of the harbour in about 15 metres of water.

The platform sank Saturday morning as it was being submerged to allow a tugboat to enter. Instead of lifting the tug out of the water, the dock kept sinking. No one was injured.

The Coast Guard asked Irving to add more containment booms around the area after an oily sheen appeared under the Angus L. Macdonald Bridge Monday morning.

The sheen has since dissipated, and the Halifax Shipyard is working to contain and remove "a small amount of diesel fuel" that escaped, Irving said in a news release late Monday.

Environment Canada said according to the company, 20 litres leaked out through a pressure valve on the submersible dock's diesel tank.

Roger Percy, of Environment Canada, said the maximum amount of fuel on board at the time was 170 litres of oil lubricant and 170 litres of diesel.

Irving said it's still finalizing its plans to re-float the dock.

The Scotia Dock is capable of lifting a vessel weighing of 25,000 tonnes and is about 183 metres in length.

The Canadian navy frigate HMCS Halifax is scheduled to begin a year long mid-life refit at the dry dock. The military would not say whether this accident would delay the refit.

Irving said its handling of the fuel spill has been reviewed by Environment Canada, and no further action has been recommended.

Corrections

  • Environment Canada initially said that 170 litres of diesel fuel leaked out. Its revised estimate, based on Irving's calculation, is 20 litres.
    May 14, 2010 12:10 PM AT

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