News | Nov. 3, 2017

DLA Energy helps clean up oil spill in Greece

By Connie Braesch DLA Energy Public Affairs

A Defense Logistics Agency Energy-partnered mobile oil-water separator from the Marathi Depot in Crete, Greece, helped clean contaminated sea water after a significant oil spill occurred near Athens, Greece.

The mobile oil response unit was purchased under a cost-sharing agreement between DLA Energy, the United Kingdom Royal Navy and the Hellenic Navy for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Marathi Depot, where DLA Energy has an international agreement for bulk fuel storage and supply services. 

The equipment was put in to action after the Greek tanker vessel, Agia Zoni II, carrying approximately 2,500 tons of fuel sank off the coast of the Salamis Island Sept. 10, resulting in an oil spill that threatened the environment, wildlife, maritime commerce and caused the area coastlines and beaches to be closed to the public.

In an effort to expedite the clean-up efforts, the Hellenic Navy called upon the fuel experts and the oil-water separator at Marathi Depot to assist. The FREYLIT mobile water treatment system was moved to the site to skim the surface of the water, remove the oil and return clean water to the sea. 

“The oil-water separator came in to help the vacuum trucks that used hand-held hoses and removed the sea water and the oil without cleaning the water,” said Hellenic Navy Cmdr. Thomas Tsilis who is responsible for Marathi Depot NATO fuel operations.

The enterprise response unit was procured in order to reinforce the depot's capability in antipollution actions and is the only one available in Greece, Tsilis said.

“Since there were no previous fuel spills of this size at Marathi Depot, the use of this equipment for a full-scale fuel spill put it to the test,” said Heather Huhn, petroleum liaison officer to Greece, Portugal and Spain at DLA Energy Europe & Africa. “It succeeded with flying colors.” 

The Marathi Depot is a Hellenic Navy military installation located on the northern side of Crete on Souda Bay and near the town of Chania. The depot’s operation and maintenance, including the purchase of equipment like the oil-water separator, is cooperatively administered based on an international agreement between the Hellenic Navy, the United Kingdom Royal Navy and DLA Energy.