Home' Ships and Shipping : June 2011 Contents NEWS
Four corporations involved in owning
and operating a fleet of vessels regularly
visiting New Orleans pleaded guilty
April 12 and agreed to pay a US$1
million penalty and be banned from
doing business in the US for the next
five years under the terms of a proposed
Stanships (Marshall Islands), Stanships
(New York), Standard Shipping and Calmore
Maritime, collectively the owners and
operator of the 'Americana', a Panamanian-
registered cargo vessel, each pleaded guilty
in New Orleans to a total of 32 felony
counts for violations of the Act to Prevent
Pollution from Ships, Ports and Waterways
Safety Act and obstruction of justice.
The plea terms also require personal
banning of the owner of the companies
who is also a corporate officer in some of
the companies owning or technically
managing vessels during the probationary
period. Of the US$1 million penalty,
$250,000 will be devoted to community
The government's investigation of the
'Americana' started when a crewmember
told the US Coast Guard during an
inspection of the ship on November 29,
2010, that the ship was illegally dumping
sludge and oily waste overboard using a
so-called "magic pipe" to bypass required
pollution prevention equipment.
The crewmember provided the coast
guard with cell phone photos taken at sea
showing the use of the bypass. According
to a statement filed in court, the
defendants have admitted the following:
• Sludge and oily waste from the vessel's
engines was transferred to a fuel tank and
then deliberately pumped overboard.
• The ship had an unreported leak
between a ballast and fuel tank that led
to overboard discharges of oil and
contaminated waste from both tanks.
A black "comet streak" stain of
apparent oil was visible on the outside of
the ship in the immediate vicinity of the
overboard valve when the ship was in
New Orleans in December 2010.
The metal bypass pipe used to dump
oily waste overboard was hidden from
view when the ship was in port.
A false oil record book was also created
to conceal the illegal discharges.
Stanships (Marshall Islands) is a repeat
offender. It committed new crimes after it
was sentenced on September 29, 2010, for
deliberate discharges in US waters
and concealing illegal pollution in falsified
ship records from the 'Doric Glory'.
In that case, US District Judge
Helen G Berrigan ordered the
defendant to implement a comprehensive
environmental compliance plan and
pay $700,000 in criminal fines and
an additional $125,000 as community
In pleading guilty, Stanships (Marshall
Islands) admitted that it violated
the terms of its probation. The
'Doric Glory' prosecution was also
initiated by crewmembers.
BHP Billiton has released its Public Environmental Review
(PER)/Draft Environmental Impact Statement (Draft EIS) to
seek Commonwealth and Western Australian government
approvals for the proposed development of an outer harbour
facility in Port Hedland, Western Australia.
At around $10 billion, the proposed development is the
primary part of BHP's planned $25 billion expansion of its West
Australian iron ore business. The PER/Draft EIS will be available
for public comment for a period of eight weeks.
The project will involve the construction and operation
of landside and marine infrastructure for the handling and
export of iron ore. The scope of the project assessed in the
PER/Draft EIS includes:
• rail connections and spur from the existing BHP Billiton Iron
Ore Newman rail line to proposed stockyards at Boodarie;
• rail loops at Boodarie;
• stockyards and associated infrastructure at Boodarie;
• an infrastructure corridor (including conveyors, access roadway
and utilities) from the stockyards to the proposed marine jetty
(offshore from Finucane Island);
• an abutment, jetty, wharf, dredged channel, basins and
berthing pockets offshore from Finucane Island, to
accommodate bulk carriers; and
• supporting infrastructure including access roads, upgrades to
existing roads and utilities, buildings, temporary construction
facilities and communication systems.
BHP Billiton Iron Ore said it would make investment decisions
at each stage of the development subject to external factors at
that time. The document was prepared based on an estimated
throughput capacity of 240 million tonnes per annum for the
At this stage, the company anticipates that construction will
be completed over four stages, with each stage nominally taking
two to three years to complete. The timing and the composition
of the stages will ultimately be dependant on market demand for
iron ore as well as internal and external approvals and
New ship loading facilities are proposed to be built to the
north of Finucane Island. These will comprise an access jetty and
wharf approximately four kilometres and two kilometres in
Four shiploaders will be installed, along with four wharf
conveyors, to service the eight shiploading berths. The jetty
conveyors will be constructed to transfer ore material from a
transfer station on Finucane Island to a transfer deck, then onto
the wharf conveyors and into the shiploaders.
The project will require dredging to enable vessel access to the
wharf and for loaded vessels to depart to deep water. Dredging
operations will create new berth pockets, swing basins, departure
basins, a departure link channel to the existing shipping channel,
a departure channel, a crossover link channel and tug access
channel from the existing channel into the berth pockets.
Dredged material, estimated to be approximately 54 million
cubic metres, will be disposed at offshore spoil disposal grounds
located in Commonwealth waters.
The project will require material handling infrastructure. Iron
ore will be transported from inland Pilbara mines along the
existing BHP Billiton Iron Ore Port Hedland-Newman rail line
and the proposed Western Spur rail line to proposed stockyard
facilities at Boodarie.
Ore will be carried by overland conveyors from the Boodarie
stockyards to a proposed transfer station on Finucane Island. The
ore will then be conveyed across the marine jetty to the wharf
A proposed infrastructure corridor, which will extend from the
stockyards at Boodarie to the jetty on the northern shore of
Finucane Island, will cross West Creek via an elevated causeway.
Disclosure: Members of the Baird family or companies in the Baird
Publications group own shares in BHP Billiton.
BHP Billiton unveils $10 billion port expansion at Port Hedland
A computer illustration of part of the proposed
BHP Billiton outer harbour facility at Port Hedland
Blowing the whistle on environmentally destructive
practices: a crewmember of the Stanships-owned
'Americana' alerted the US Coast Guard to the use
of a "magic pipe" and falsified oil record books
Shipping conglomerate fined and banned from US for concealing pollution
June 2011 SHIPS AND SHIPPING
Links Archive May 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page