Prior team training
And because “we mustn’t be in denial”, insists Wilfried Point, and need to foresee even worst-case scenarios, a broad panel of procedures has also been put into place in the event of an incident, however minor it may be. Everything begins by raising the awareness of the teams and the various parties working the site and training them. “We guarantee the implementation of training courses for everybody at the site, particularly on the vessels, because we have staff who have been trained to lead these courses. This is extremely important because it means the teams know what they need to do, the initial gestures they must make, in a manner of speaking, and when we arrive almost immediately afterwards, we can take over the baton. No time is lost, and there is total efficiency”, says the Chairman and CEO. The human element, therefore, lies at the heart of the process. Ecotank has been made responsible for the environment on the water for the offshore extension project and operates in close collaboration with everyone who works there. Meetings with the Bouygues TP Monaco teams are held twice a day, at six in the morning and two in the afternoon, to forecast all the movements on the water during the day. “The equipment can break down, even if it’s new. There can be a breakage or an incident, and we cannot ignore anything”, explains Wilfried Point. “Even a drop of fuel that falls into the water cannot escape our attention”. It was his team that recently intervened when a hose broke on one of the vessels, and they quickly recovered the few litres of organic oil that had put a sheen on the surface of the water. Putting risk prevention before everything else, he has equipped every vessel belonging to the various providers with special materials, including anti-pollution barriers that can be deployed in a few moments. In addition, no refueling can be carried out unless extremely rigorous measures have been put into place beforehand to limit any pollution associated with an incident.
Looking to the future
“We have 4 operating boats, one of which is permanently on-site, 13 fully equipped barges with cranes, 4 lorries, 17 emergency response vehicles, drones and oleophilic skimmers that enable 100% of pollutants (such as oils) to be recovered, but only 2% water”. Formed by Wilfried Point in 2009, Ecotank works with port as well as private parties, and is based on one principle. Wilfried Point: “ We became aware of the fact that it should no longer be boats that travel to treatment points, but that we must adopt an active approach and go to vessels ourselves and help them with their aim of limiting their environmental impact. Today, the Monaco site makes it possible to demonstrate the credibility of a procedure such as this to the whole world through measurable results”. As a result of this experience, Ecotank is planning to move to Monaco in the near future and to become a participant in Monaco’s procedures for preserving the environment.
This article was originally published in May-July 2019 edition of the Gazette de Monaco.