Response > OPFLEX Involved with Costa Concordia Solution

OPFLEX Involved with Costa Concordia Solution

The principle of OPFLEX technology for preventing damage to the nature area close to the wrecked Costa Concordia near Porto Giglio, Italy, has been demonstrated to the Italian Coast Guard. After the demonstrations, preparations were made to start work on a design that could be supplied to Italy in the next few weeks.

Scott Smith in front of the Costa Concordia

From Cape Cod, USA, Opflex Solutions' CEO Scott C. Smith saw the wreck of the Costa Concordia on TV along with the rest of the world. With his personal knowledge of what happens in marine disasters, and his experiences with the Gulf Coast BP oil spill, he felt compelled to board a plane to Italy.


The oil still onboard the capsized cruise ship poses a real threat to the nearby coastal ecosystem. In addition to cooking oil in the galley, and grease and oil in the engine room, 2,300 tons (575,000 gallons) of fuel oil remain aboard. Isola del Giglio is part of the Pelagos marine sanctuary off the Tuscan coast of Italy.


This is a productive ecosystem supporting a high degree of marine diversity. On 29th January 2012, a demonstration of the OPFLEX technology was conducted for Italian Coast Guard Commander Gianluca D'Agostina. Speaking through a translator, the Commander warmly extended an invitation back to Porto Giglio to deploy Scott Smith's new design ideas that take into consideration the specific topography and water flow of the local region.


Scott Smith expressed his eagerness to work with the Italian Coast Guard to prevent irreparable environmental damage. Based on initial deployment on Monday along the water conditions and topography of the Giglio area, OPFLEX is working on a new design to be ready for deployment in Italy in the next 2-3 weeks.


Smith further explained that the large scale of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico created an opportunity to test new solutions and technologies like OPFLEX, giving the company the required experience to be a part of the solution at Giglio. "What we learned through our collaborative effort with British Petroleum is only reinforced at Giglio, that you must plan for extreme weather and rough seas. Also, given the nature and design of the rigid orange containment boom, oil can be temporarily contained, but not removed from the water unless the seas are completely calm so that skimmers can be deployed," he said.


With rough seas, oil escapes the containment booms where it will damage sensitive shoreline ecosystems. All products made with the OPFLEX technology are designed to be fastened to the orange containment booms to work in conjunction and provide an oil recovery solution. Furthermore, oil sheen prevents sunlight from providing the necessities of life for organisms beneath the surface and is harmful to all marine species that come in direct contact with the oil.


The international media was present during some of the OPFLEX demonstrations. NPR, Associated Press and many local newspapers and TV news crews got footage of the sorbent removing oil from water.


Read more about:  oil  solutions  spill  water 
Supplier: Opflex Solutions LLC

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