Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Trafigura: Probo Koala Waste – Amsterdam 2

After yesterday’s post in which I queried Dr Busch’s assertion that the Probo Koala waste was excluded from the Basel Treaty I received a long email reply from Dr Busch. 

This reply, in addition to requesting that I be humble enough to learn about matters before I comment upon them – huh!, contained a paper, by Dr Busch, which described in detail why the Probo Koala waste was covered by the MARPOL agreement and not by the Basel Treaty and why Trafigura complied with all applicable regulations.

I will put this paper online once I have had the opportunity to look at it in detail.

In the meantime I continue with my questioning of assertions made by Dr Busch about the Probo Koala’s waste.  It is quite likely that this post too will attract a riposte.

Dr Busch states in his email to me,

“In early July 2006 the mv Probo Koala arrived in Amsterdam with the intention of disposing of the Slops Waste at a suitable reception facility. However as the Amsterdam Port Service (APS) unexpectedly and significantly [CalumCarr’s emphasis] raised their price for disposing of the Slops Waste, Trafigura were compelled by commercial necessity, to dispose of the Slops Waste elsewhere.”

He uses stronger language elsewhere.

“When Trafigura refused to be blackmailed into paying a thousand Euros per ton, APS offered 750 as a compromise. This was rejected and the vessel left.”

I am surprised at Dr Busch’s surprise.  The quotation from APS to Trafigura specified that the waste had to meet certain criteria:

APSQuotepart1Initial and subsequent tests showed the product did NOT meet those criteria.

The first result showed the waste to have a COD of approximately 500,000mg/l which seems incredibly high.  Later the result used, and apparently accepted by Trafigura, was 21,000mg/l which puts the waste which Trafigura were attempting to have treated 10 times greater than the limits imposed by APS.  On this basis alone the waste had more than ten times the ability to pollute than was allowable by APS’ criteria.

The accepted result for TOCl (Total organic chlorine) was more than 5%  - more than 50 times greater than the specified limit.

The potential of the waste to pollute was significantly greater and so neither Trafigura nor Dr Busch should have been surprised that the treatment price increased significantly.

More queries will come later.

[COD – Chemical oxygen demand is a measure of the potential of waste to pollute water.  The larger the COD figure the more oxygen the waste could remove from “living” water and the greater the potential to damage the ecosystems  One could say that the higher the COD of a waste the more toxic it would be to ecosystem.]

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