The Myth: Holes are drilled at the bottom of the tanks to discharge bilge water and waste oil from the beached vessel.
The Reality: International Maritime Organization (IMO), in its resolution MEPC 210 (63), mentions that residual oil tanks should be protected against leakage, overflow, fire, and other potential accidents. Therefore, HKC Compliant recycling facilities prepare a plan for the disposal of bilge water and waste oil present on the vessels as per Part II of the Inventory of Hazardous Materials.
At Alang, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) and Gujarat Maritime Board (GMB) are the regulatory bodies responsible for handling the waste generated from the recycling vessels. GPCB has appointed Gujarat Enviro Protection Infrastructure Ltd. (GEPIL) to collect bilge water and oily wastes from the recycling vessels. The bilge water is transferred from the vessel into dedicated collection tanks and temporarily stored at storage areas within the yard. Bilge water is delivered to road transport tankers operated by GEPIL for further treatment at GEPIL facilities located in Alang.
The waste oil is delivered to the GPCB authorized subcontractors, which dispatch the waste oil to the refineries.
GEPIL is equipped with a bilge water separator to separate the oil from bilge water. The separated water is treated using an activated sludge process, and treated water is used for gardening as well as for suppression of dust over landfills. The separated oil is collected in the storage tanks.