Fujairah Collage

Fujairah Collage
Some distinctive landmarks in Fujairah

Monday, September 8, 2008

Fujairah Port Announces Expansion but No Word on Oil Pollution Control

The Fujairah Port will undergo a major overhaul of its existing infrastructure as well as extending its facilities, thanks to a Dh900 mill (US$257 mill) loan that will come courtesy of a syndicate of thirteen banks.

This expansion is due to the growing use of the port and terminal in which Fujairah has become the second largest bunkering port in the world.

Celebrating this development, HH Sheikh Saleh Bin Mohammed Al Sharqi, Chairman of the Port of Fujairah and the Department of Industry and Economy for the government of Fujairah said:

“We have clearly defined our expansion plans and their objectives, which will benefit not only the port but also the commercial support services in Fujairah and the rest of the UAE.”

The major concern that was not addressed in this announcement is that the Fujairah Port is well in contention for holding the world record for the greatest number of oil spills within its responsibility.

This year alone there have been more than a dozen oil dumpings from tankers out from the Fujairah Port and in all its years of operation no captain has been apprehended nor ship impounded for this criminal behaviour. Consequently, while commercial services have been enriched as the Port has grown, the Fujairah and Sharjah marine environment has been harmed due to the frequent oil dumps. Furthermore, tourism, hotels, fishing and diving companies have suffered financial loss and goodwill because of the negligence in surveillance, policing and adequate clean up procedures.

The expansion of the Port in Fujairah is to be welcomed along with the extra custom it will bring the eastern emirate. However, the increased traffic that the development will enable may well increase the incidence of oil dumping into the Fujairah harbour if nothing more is done to effectively apprehend and penalise polluting offenders in accordance with the Port of Fujairah Rules and Regulations (Ch. VI, Article 30.b).

Increased control must go hand in hand with increased capacity.

Moussa Ahmad, Port of Fujairah Raises US$260 million to Realise Infrastructure Plans, BI-ME, 8 September 2008.
Cleaning Up Oil in Fujairah, The National, 12 June 2008. See this and the ten other articles listed on this page.
East Coast Oil Slicks Require National Solution, Experiencing the Emirates, 10 August 2008.

Dr Geoff Pound

Image: Images of Fujairah Port and Beaches.

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