Global first to protect Malmö’s port from oil spills

Thursday 13 October saw the launch of a remote-controlled, self-propelled torpedo that will protect Malmö’s port from any oil spills that occur in the future.

“This is a unique solution, and we are the first in the world to introduce it. The project has taken two years and has been conducted in partnership with Gothenburg-based SP Marine,” Johan Röstin, CMP’s CEO, said at the launch.

Kjell-Arne Landgren, the chairman of the local emergency service, Räddningstjänsten Syd, sends the little red torpedo off on its maiden voyage before a group of specially invited guests and a throng of journalists. Slowly but surely the torpedo moves across the 600 metre wide basin of Malmö’s Oil Port. Trailing behind the torpedo is a long boom that is designed to encircle the oil in the event of a spill. It takes about five minutes for the torpedo to reach the other side.

This technology is called an autonomous surface vessel or ASV for short.

“The torpedo is equipped with an advanced GPS system which navigates towards one or several receiving stations on the other side of the basin,” says Kurt Sjöblom, Managing Director of SP Marine.

“Previously, after contacting the emergency services, you had to row out in a boat and lay the heavy boom by hand,” comments Lennart Pettersson, Deputy CEO of CMP. He says every minute saved encircling the oil counts when a spill occurs.

As the torpedo is remote-controlled and driverless, it can be launched immediately. The torpedo is very much in line with CMP’s strong environmental profile, and Johan Röstin expresses a hope that this innovation will catch on at other ports.

According to Kurt Sjöblom from SP Marine, there is strong interest in the torpedo both nationally and internationally. After CMP, Gothenburg is next in line.

“In addition to its use in ports, a torpedo could also be mounted on the stern of a coastguard boat,” he says.
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