Newly licensed UK technology to improve marine oil spill response

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CONVERT400 being rolled into an empty 737-400 (Image Courtesy: Agile Spray Response Limited)

Agile Spray Response Ltd has been granted the Export Sales Licence to manufacture, market and sell CONVERT400, the HM Government Maritime Coastguard Agency’s (MCA) chosen oil dispersant spray system (ODSS). CONVERT400’s design improves accessibility to and affordability of airborne spray response strategies used to disperse oil spills quickly and effectively, around the world.

CONVERT400 does not require a dedicated aircraft or the associated annual costs of its maintenance, storage and personnel. Instead, CONVERT400 is ‘rolled on and rolled off’ a cargo Boeing 737, as required, which eliminates the need for countries and companies to maintain fixed aviation assets to manage the risk of offshore oil spills. The Boeing 737 type is among the most widely used cargo aircraft and CONVERT400 can be used by existing in-country aircraft when they have been modified for both roles.

CONVERT400 is designed and developed to deal with the impact of oil spills on coastlines and marine ecology around the world. It is integrated with the UK Government’s export policy and is available to all global markets.

“CONVERT400 has been developed and extensively tested by the UK MCA to ensure that it meets all current international requirements for the successful management of oil spills in the marine environment. The overriding aim is to reduce the impact of oil spills on coastlines and marine ecology in a financially efficient manner and make the system accessible to all nations.” said Phil Cole, Agile Spray Response CEO.

The successful management and dispersal of oil spills is a time critical procedure where the speed of response is vital to minimise environmental harm. Agile Spray Response has achieved a rapid response solution by forming a partnership with an ‘in-nation’ airline which is already operating revenue-earning cargo flights. This makes the need for a dedicated aircraft obsolete.

“The advantage of CONVERT400 is that in three hours the system can be installed in a Boeing 737, loaded with dispersant and be able to start spraying immediately. The commercial advantages are key for this technology to be made available to a greater number of countries and organisations,” he added.

Using standard cargo Boeing 737-400 aircraft, the MCA has chosen CONVERT400 as its environmental aerial spray technology because it will deal with oil spills efficiently and effectively. The agency has committed its support to Agile Spray Response for overseas sales of the system and service, which offers significant cost-reduction, increased capability and better performance over traditional oil spill management using aerial spray.

The MCA spokesperson said: “Agile Spray Response has been granted the Export Licence for CONVERT400, and its future evolutions, to make the system available to all countries keen to protect their coasts against oil pollution resulting from spills. The cost of that protection has been significantly reduced by the development of CONVERT400 and we are confident that making this technology available to other countries is a positive step for the environment and for the national economies which choose this system.”

Sea News, January 26

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra