Elimination Units for Marine Oil Pollution 

In the post-Prestige era, it was time a completely new and multidisciplinary concept for handling oil spillage in European waters to be developed. This would yield environmental benefits, an impulse to the respective European industry and it would ultimately result in an exportable product for marine oil spill confrontation.

Specifically, the project proposed the design and proof of concept of autonomous Elimination Units for Marine Oil Pollution (EU-MOPs), capable of mitigating and eliminating the threat arising from oil spill incidents. The project was funded by the European Commission within the 6th Framework Programme, Priority 1.6.2, Sustainable Development, Global Change and Ecosystems, under contract number FP6-2003-516221.

The end-result of this project was the conceptual development and validation of low cost, autonomous vessels/drones that will be released in the oil spill area, will automatically (through proper sensors) track the oil concentration specifics of the spill and will apply mechanical countermeasures locally. Combining a number of such units will confront the entire spill. A range of such units were designed to allow their use in various oil spill scenarios (large, high-seas spills are very different from small, coastal spills; a 'one size fits all' concept was inappropriate). The complete integrated system, including communication, logistical support, and response management was analyzed and assessed.

The research objectives were to establish:

1. Innovative concepts in oil spill management;
2. Novel devices for oil spill confrontation;
3. An integrated framework for oil spill management; and
4. An advanced structure for the dissemination of oil pollution response policies.

Validation, proof of concept and virtual (simulation) experiments were included in the project.

A strong, multidisciplinary and competitive consortium of world experts was established, and interacted with an industrial Advisory Committee that provided expert guidance throughout its duration.

The project was coordinated by the Laboratory of Maritime Transport of the National Technical University of Athens, and all partners are listed below:

1.                  National Technical University of Athens (NTUA), Greece

2.                  University of Strathclyde (SSRC), UK

3.                  SIREHNA, France

4.                  Instituto de Soldadura e Qualidade (ISQ), Portugal

5.                  British Maritime Technology Ltd (BMT), UK

6.                  Centro de Estudios Tecnico-Maritimos, Sociedad Limitada (CETEMAR), Spain

7.                  Environmental Protection Engineering S.A. (EPE), Greece

8.                  Aurensis,S.L , Spain

9.                  The Chancellor, Masters and Scholars of the University of Oxford, UK

10.              Consultrans S.A, Spain

11.              Bureau Mauric, France

12.              Institute of Shipping Economics and Logistics (ISL), Germany

13.              Fraunhofer Gesellschaft zur Forderung der angewandten Forschung e.V. (IPA), Germany


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