Interspill Ltd gratefully acknowledges the support provided by EMSA in the dissemination of the Interspill conference papers

Interspill 2002 Review

From 11 to 16 March 2002, the city of Brest was home to Interspill 2002, an international exhibition on spill response and the marine environment. This event was the second of its kind to take place in Europe, following Brighton in 2000, and was part of an initiative which has now been established for several years in North America, where a similar event takes place every two years: the International Oil Spill Conference (IOSC).

Interspill 2002 was organised by Sycopol (a French organisation comprising equipment manufacturers and service providers engaged in pollution control) in partnership with BOSCA (British Oil Spill Control Association) and NOSCA (Norwegian Oil Spill Control Association).

The backdrop for this exhibition was Brest’s convention centre the Quartz, a venue which provided a welcoming and practical environment to promote exchanges between the different exhibitors and the professionals taking part in the various Safer Seas events.

Through the wide range of products and services presented, the exhibitors contributed to providing a comprehensive show of the equipment available and the related services in the spill response industry.

Furthermore, by taking advantage of Cedre’s technical facilities for demonstrations, the organisers added a real asset to this trade show. The success of the two after-dark demonstrations attests to this.

The Interspill 2002 exhibition mainly focused on the range of equipment, products and techniques for use in response to a spill at sea or in inland waters. However, priority was given to equipment and products used at sea and on land to respond to spills of heavy or viscous oils, the main theme of the technical conferences. The technological evolutions and areas for improvement that were identified concerned:

  • the improvement of containment and recovery in strong currents, in particular in northern countries. Particular mention can be made of the BoomVane manufactured by the company ORC.
  • the improvement in the recovery of highly viscous products. This was the subject of many presentations during the conferences. Particular mention can be made of the Belt Skimmer by Ro Clean Desmi.
  • the improvement in recovery capacities. This can be illustrated by the increasing size of Lori/Larmor brush skimmers.
  • a new type of fireproof (up to 1250°C) fence boom, the M25Oil and for chemicals Festop 500 and 750. This new model of boom (at the centre of an impressive demonstration), used to contain dangerous products and/or slicks on fire, was presented by the company Djet.

Making this exhibition an international spill response event, in the midst of the IMO R&D Forum, the maritime safety and environmental protection conferences and the technical lessons from the Erika and other incidents, was a delicate and ambitious task. The presence of numerous exhibitors representing 13 different countries was a great satisfaction for Sycopol and demonstrates the growing importance given to the issue of accidental marine pollution.

There is no doubt that the success of this international week of Safer Seas on maritime safety, protection of the marine environment and pollution response held in Brest is due, in particular, to the combining of these different events. The active and ambitious collaboration of the different partners and institutions contributed to the success of each of these events including Interspill 2002.

The goal of ‘rivalling’ IOSC has, it seems, been achieved, such a gathering never having attracted as many specialists in maritime security and spill response in Europe. Furthermore, the demonstrations surpassed their transatlantic equivalents.

We hope that Interspill 2004, to be held in Trondheim, Norway, organised by NOSCA, will experience the same success by following the same ‘recipes’.