Positive Environment News

Damaged Petrobras' ship leaks naphtha in Brazil

Date: 19-Oct-01
Country: BRAZIL

A spokeswoman for Petrobras in the southern port said it was not clear how much naphtha had actually leaked into the Paranagua Bay from the damaged hull. Officials estimated 7,000 people in and around the port were in the risk area.

Lloyds Casualty Reporting Service said about 5 million liters of naphtha had leaked, which Petrobras did not confirm.

"The dimensions of the leak are not yet clear," the spokeswoman said, adding that environmental officials had been informed about the accident. "There will still be investigation to find out who is responsible."

All air traffic above the port was banned due to high inflammability of naphtha, an oil product lighter than gasoline used as raw material for making plastics by the petrochemical industry.

The tanker, Norma, had been carrying 22 million liters of naphtha in 5 compartments, one of which was punctured. The spokeswoman said the spill had been stopped and clean-up crew installed contention and collection barriers.

Naphtha is harder to trace than oil as it does not form a visible slick on the ocean surface. But the product evaporates more easily.

Ibama environmental agency may slap a big fine on Petrobras, which in the two years provoked a number of environmental disasters.

Reuters
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