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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
From the Maltese Times -

MS Otopan, a toxic ship currently roaming the Mediterranean in search of a port, has been refused harbour by the Maltese government.

The Malta Environment and Planning Authority has advised the Dutch government - which had made a request on the ship's behalf - that Malta will not provide harbour to the Otopan, a Mepa spokesman said.

A few weeks ago the ship got embroiled in a diplomatic wrangle in Turkey, where it was denied access.

She had been expected to dock in Izmir to be broken up and have the asbestos covering removed, shortly after it left Amsterdam. Before the ship got to Turkey, however, environmental NGOs raised the alarm about the "illegal levels" of asbestos in the ship's hull. They claimed she was laden with some 60 tons of asbestos and not one ton as was declared on the Otopan's papers.

Following a request by the Turkish authorities, the Dutch Environment Ministry confirmed that the ship was carrying 54 tons of asbestos, upon which the Turkish government said the ship would not be granted harbour.

"I will not sacrifice the environment for the sake of a scrap iron dealer," an angry Turkish Environment Minister Osman Pepe was reported saying, apparently in reference to his Dutch counterpart.

Since then, government sources have told The Times, officials from the Dutch Environment Ministry have made persistent requests to the Maltese authorities but these have been turned down.

It was not immediately clear whether the Dutch wanted to have the ship broken up here or use Malta as a temporary port. The ship is now anchored off the ****** islands in Greece.

The NGO Platform on Shipbreaking - the coalition of NGOs which coordinated the campaign on the Otopan - fears the Dutch government may attempt to convince other countries to take the vessel.

Derk Byvanck, the coalition's international coordinator, said warning letters have been sent to the authorities of all Mediterranean countries.

"The ship can be broken up in Holland but it's expensive, which is why the Turkish option was sought," he said.

The issue, in fact, has taken a political twist in The Netherlands, were the matter has been raised in Parliament.

Local activist Caroline Muscat has written to the Environment Ministry requesting confirmation that Malta will not be accepting the ship in its port, pointing out that besides asbestos the ship carries other hazardous waste including toxic chemicals such as PCBs and TBT.

PCBs can affect humans through inhalation (respiration), digestion, or through the skin (dermal absorption). TBT compounds leave negative effects on humans and the environment.


Another one for Alang...?

Rushie
 

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Ahoy,
It's just been announced by the Dutch News on tele, that she will be towed back to Amsterdam, and that the already made charges will be claimed at the owners in Mexico.[Not easy to get]

Click on for video "Asbestschip teruggesleept naar Nederland" on the following link:
In Dutch on the calender the 23 of september

http://www.nos.nl/nosjournaal/beeld_en_geluid/index.html
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Cheers Ruud,

Wasn't she berthed in Amsterdam for 7 or 8 years awaiting demolition.?

Rushie
 

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Cheers Ruud,

Wasn't she berthed in Amsterdam for 7 or 8 years awaiting demolition.?

Rushie
Ahoy Rushie,
Yep, she was waiting approx. 7 years in Amsterdam for demolition, meanwhile the crewmembers started to clean up the asbestos, and then were stopped by "rules".
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Heading home..!

From the Malta Times -

The asbestos-laden ship Otopan will be heading back to Amsterdam following Malta and Turkey's refusal to harbour it.

Dutch Environment Minister Pieter Van Geel announced that The Netherlands would be taking the ship back following a diplomatic deadlock which left it stranded as it searched in vain for a welcoming port in the Mediterranean.

The Otopan, formerly an oil tanker, was refused access to Malta on Wednesday by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority, in its capacity as the local agency responsible for the trans-frontier shipment of waste.

Just a few weeks earlier, the ship became embroiled in a diplomatic wrangle in Turkey, where it was also denied access.

The ship was expected to dock in the port of Aliaga near Izmir, to be broken and have its asbestos covering removed. However, the Dutch environment minister admitted that 54 tonnes of asbestos were on board, among other toxic chemicals, and not one ton as the official papers stated.

As a result his Turkish counterpart, Osman Pepe, announced in an angry press conference that the country was refusing to grant the ship access to its ports.

A request was subsequently made to Malta and other Mediterranean countries.

However, on Friday, The Times reported that Mepa had given the Dutch the thumbs down, a move which international campaigners hoped would have a negative domino effect on the Dutch government's bid to have the vessel scrapped in the Mediterranean.

Apparently it did. On Saturday Mr Van Geel was reported saying that the Otopan would be taken back and "cleaned" in the Netherlands.

It is not clear, however, whether this means that it will be broken there or in some other equipped country. In fact, the NGO Platform for ship breaking - the international coalition of NGOs which coordinated the campaign on the Otopan - vows it will continue to monitor developments to make sure that it is disposed of safely.


Rushie
 
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