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Rena update #228

20 July 2012

The tender process for the next stage of salvage work – wreck removal – is continuing.

Braemar Howells update

Please note: Braemar sends updates on its operation out on Wednesdays as well – if you would like to be included on this distribution list, email Monique Balvert-O’Connor on

  • The Braemar recovery team has successfully recovered 167 tonnes of butterfat from the wreck of the Rena – which has now been repackaged for recycling into biodiesel fuel. (NOTE: For photos of the process, contact: Grant Dyson +64 27 668 6242).
  • Braemar Operations Manager Neil Lloyd says that over the course of the project, some large quantities of cargo have been recycled. "It’s a small environmental coup to be able to recycle such big quantities of a cargo, which at one stage was earmarked as waste."
  • "Without the efforts of our team, including distressed cargo, port and waste specialists, and our local environmental partner, this would have been dumped into a landfill site. Instead, it will go towards powering vehicles."
  • "It should be noted that these efforts are ongoing – we are committed to maximising every possible recycling opportunity."
  • Neil Lloyd says that re-packaging the butterfat was a tricky task because the product was in bladders which had 'ballooned' out of shape when the cardboard boxes they were in disintegrated.
  • "We designed equipment that allowed us to squeeze the semi-soft material into one metre containers holding one tonne each. It was like juggling with jelly."
  • The owners and insurers of the Rena are pleased with the quantities of material we have been able to re-use or recycle, Mr Lloyd says.
  • At the beginning of the month Braemar had 140 containers of recovered cargo on the books. "We’ve managed to recycle 60 containers out of that – including steel scrap, timber and milk fat. Over the past week alone, 41 container-loads of steel scrap have been sent for recycling."
  • The Braemar/Unimar teams have been unable to do much at sea over the past week for safety reasons, with the one metre-plus swell that’s been running.
  • The barge ST 60, which has been used in the recovery of containers and container scrap lifted from the seabed, has been sheltering off Motiti Island waiting for sea conditions to ease.
  • The sea conditions also forced a halt to the work of pre-rigging containers for lifting.
  • Shoreline teams have continued to recover debris from Matakana Island dotterel breeding sites, which remains a priority.
  • A cleanup operation along 80 kilometres of the East Cape last week produced two skip-fulls of minor debris, including pieces of timber and refrigerated container foam. The operation involved the use of a barge and two smaller vessels, along with divers who combed the shoreline.
  • The number of containers recovered from the Rena and brought to shore is 968.
Oil spill response
  • The oil spill response has been reduced from a Tier 3, or national level, to Tier 2, or regional level, response. Any queries about the oil spill response should now be directed to the Bay of Plenty Regional Council.

For further information contact:
Maritime New Zealand Media Line
Phone 04 499 7318

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