GCC to designate ports to handle ship waste

GCC to designate ports to handle ship waste
Updated 01 June 2013

GCC to designate ports to handle ship waste

GCC to designate ports to handle ship waste

GCC countries plan to have 12 ports to receive and handle ship waste remnants in order to operate in conformity with environmental regulations and standards related to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL), a marine pollution expert at the Presidency of Meteorology and Environment (PME) has disclosed.
Hamdan Al-Ghamdi, who was addressing a seaport forum in Jeddah, said the Arabian Gulf has entered into the international zone, which bans discharge of solid and liquid waste in its waters.
The MARPOL Convention is designed to minimize sea pollution through elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances.
He said the Arabian Gulf has a special position, as it is considered a semi-closed and shallow water area and is therefore exposed to many risks. Approximately 65 percent of global oil tankers pass through its waters.
The PME expert said that GCC countries are concerned with the application of the MARPOL Convention, notably regulations related to finding ports to handle ship remains.
Col. Naji Al-Juhani of the Saudi Coastal Guards explained the Kingdom’s efforts in the area of search, rescue, anti-piracy and armed robbery crimes associated with sea activity.
He said the search and rescue coordination center at the Red Sea and Gulf of Aqaba area has handled more than 700 different cases. Two major search and rescue centers are planned in Jeddah and Dammam together with other branch centers in locations throughout the Kingdom, he pointed out.
He said work is underway to install a ship security alert system (SSAS) along the coasts of the Kingdom amid efforts to combat piracy and armed robbery. This will include participation in international meetings, exchange of information on local, regional and international levels and a follow-up of reports issued by global organizations, he said.
On the other hand, Head of IT Center at Saudi Sea Ports Authority (SSPA), Tariq Al-Husainan, said the SSPA has launched an e-transaction project aimed at enhancing work between Saudi ports dealers. The project will be implemented within two years as soon as funding allocations and specifications are finalized, he said.