Greetings from the Southern Tip of Africa!
Welcome to the third installment of the SWIS Base Blog series. It is great to get a chance to update everyone on what we have been up to since it all began for us four years ago.
The South African SWIS Base in Saldanha was officially opened on 10th October 2013 with a grand opening attended by dignitaries from within the oil industry.
This however was not when it all began for the South African Team having taken occupancy of the facility since November the previous year. This is when all of the hard work started to ensure that we had a fully functional facility.
In those eleven months we oversaw and carried out the following:
- Renovated the warehouse and administration buildings to meet our requirements
- Employed local staff
- Equipped the facility with all the required tools and equipment
- Implemented the company ISO and safety procedures and policies
- Appointed service providers
- Oversaw the arrival and assembly of the Capping Stack
- Prepared for the Base Readiness Review carried out by our OSRL members
- Prepared for our first ISO external audit
In late 2013, we were allocated an additional facility - a warehouse that would store 800 cubes of Finasol dispersant that is a part of the Global Dispersant Stockpile (GDS). This facility is located in Cape Town and was equipped to meet a high standard of safety as prescribed by the Cape Town Fire Department. The GDS facility has been operationally since May 2014.
Since establishing the South African Base, the Team have also had an active schedule, assisting and training with our OSRL colleagues around the world. Such assignments have taken us to: Ghana, Mozambique, Cameroon (equipment hire), UK, Bahrain, Singapore (operational exercises) and to other SWIS Bases in Brazil and Norway. All of this, plus finding the time to assist our Consultants with response plans for local OSRL members and assist our Trainiers with locally presented OSRL courses.
Due to the remote location of the South Africa SWIS Base it has been essestial that as a team we continue to learn new techniques and adapt so to enhance our operations, this has seen the implementation of the following:
- Use of multi-axle project trailer to move the cap to and from quayside
- 7 tonne fork lift placed permanently on site
- Building of permanent bunds for liquids and machinery to operate in
- Use of CCTV to enable safe monitoring of high risk activities from a safe area
- Implementing a garbage recycle and disposal plan
- Improving our water and energy efficiency
So what is next for us?
Looking towards the future, plans are afoot to continue developing our Team and an exciting new training program is about to be launched!
Pop in and say 'hi' if you’re in the area, or if you want to find out more about the South Africa Base (or any of the SWIS bases), please contact us.