Pointe Noire - Pollution Risk
5 February 2013
Members should note that Eltvedt & O’Sullivan, who oversee the correspondents in the Congo, have informed the Club of an ongoing pollution risk at Pointe Noire. A copy of their circular which contains a number of practical suggestions for how to deal with this risk is attached. As Members will note from the circular, Eltvedt & O'Sullivan inform us that a pipeline in the port was struck during dredging operations in September 2012, but the Port Authority has yet to effect repairs, resulting in continuing pollution at berths G1-G4. The circular contains a number of practical steps that ships can take in advance of and during calls at Pointe Noire. However, in view of the persisting situation, where Members are negotiating voyage charters either nominating Pointe Noire in particular or specifying a geographical range which includes the port, it may be prudent to ensure that the risk of pollution and any associated costs are expressly dealt with in the charter. For vessels which are on a period charter pre-dating September last year, there may be scope to refuse to proceed to Pointe Noire absent Charterers agreeing to indemnify Owners in respect of the consequences of proceeding to the port but Members should seek legal advice in respect of the specific terms of the relevant charter.