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Immediate Oil Spill containment to mitigate impact on the marine ecosystem

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - OILBLOCK (Immediate Oil Spill containment to mitigate impact on the marine ecosystem)

Période du rapport: 2020-09-01 au 2021-12-31

The Spill Python™ project (EU Oilblock), presents a disruptive solution to improve the efficiency of oil spill response (OSR) systems. By containing spills BEFORE they spread, our primary containment system will fundamentally alter the way organizations, policymakers, and regulators prepare for – and respond to oil spills. SpillPython’s goal is to bring to market the first unmanned, remote-controlled vessel, equipped with a compact, easily deployable oil spill containment system at standby positions in ports, oil terminals, onboard large ships, oil rigs and other high-risk locations (similar to sprinkler systems pre-installed in commercial buildings to stop fires). Just minutes after a spill is detected, the vessel can deploy hundreds of meters of T-Fence® boom (floating barrier) around the spill. The oil will be kept contained until the responder’s teams will arrive at the scene and recover the oil.
Up to this moment, ports, oil terminals, oil rigs, and tankers are unprovided with immediate response equipment to stop a spill from spreading during the first minutes of the incident. The current emergency systems are bulky and heavy; the operation is done by a team of at least 8-10 persons using two vessels and, it’s a risky job for the responders. No wonder only 7%-15% of the oil is recovered. The consequences are disastrous.
Having containment equipment on-board would help minimize the consequences of oil spills. However, no practical solution exists so far and current solutions are bulky and cannot be deployed immediately. A typical boom weighs 2-20 Kg/m and is stored in batches of up to 150 m that together with the reel can weigh 1-4 tonnes. They are stored in central locations and require a trained crew to deploy, as well as machinery. Being brought to the spill from afar in limited quantities, they cannot contain the spill, but can only serve as a clean-up device.
In contrast to existing methods that currently take 12 to 24 hours to respond and begin cleaning up an oil spill, we offer Oil Spill Spread Stopping by Instant Containment. A first emergency oil-spill containment solution for immediate response and engagement. We will put the disruptive Spill Python vessel in the market, a cutting-edge, remote-controlled unmanned vessel developed by L3 ASV, equipped with an innovative boom -HARBO’s T-Fence™- that weighs less than 1/15th of a traditional boom and that takes up a fraction of the storage space. Our innovative Zero Time to Spill system enables immediate deployment of up to 150-250 m of boom at the spill location in less than 10 minutes to encircle and contain the spill, with no need for specialty crews. This will significantly limit associated environmental damage, avoid large collecting/clean-up expenses while offering superb cost-efficiency, and minimize financial damages for companies, and all this is done without risking human lives.
- Finalize of HARBO’s Boom and BDU design for Spill Python
- Finalize of BDU packaging and system level for Spill Python
- Optimization of Spill Python control systems.
- Integration of BDU and USV platform in Spill Python prototype
- Design of a remote-controlled automatic door for the cartridge to be integrated with the USV
- Design of automatic arms that enable connecting the boom edges to Metal surfaces with Magnetic connectors.
- Magnetic connectors.
- Testing of the above in different phases (As already reported, some of these testing have been delayed due to additional unforeseen steps in the beginning of the project that were all executed successfully)
- Developing a Multi Use Boom – T6 and commercializing it

- Attending different events: Fairs, exhibitions, B2B, to disseminate the OILBLOCK technology.
- Web page design.
- Update of the OILBLOCK commercialization plan.
- Preparation of different dissemination tools.
- Meetings with Potential Pilot and Beta customers in Europe and Globally.
This project is developing a prototype using the most current state of the art equipment wherever possible within its many systems to create a rugged, reliable and safe system to operate in an oil spill environment. The amalgamation of these various systems means that the final product will be the first of its kind to be an unmanned vessel used to contain an oil spill and therefore going beyond the current state of the art.
The expected results of this product will be a vessel that can be operated by one person with minimal training and can contain a spill within 15 minutes of the vessel being deployed. The ability of this vessel to respond quickly to the spill means that there will be a significant reduction in the area contaminated by the spill, dramatically reducing the costs of cleaning after the spill.
Testing Spill Python in a terminal setting at Rotterdam Port.
Spill Python Tanker Spill Deployment Scenario.