Hambantota International Port (HIP) in partnership with the Sri Lanka Coast Guard and the Sri Lanka Navy, conducted an oil spill drill last week, to enhance their emergency preparedness.
“While all health and safety measures are in place to prevent accidents, we are also prepared for the unexpected. Therefore, drills of this nature are mandatory in our standard operational procedure. I must also reiterate that HIP is the only Sri Lankan port that’s ISO certified with special emphasis on QHSE, and therefore the drill we conducted was in compliance with ISO standards,” says Johnson Liu, CEO of Hambantota International Port Group.
HIP’s participation in the marine oil spill drill, showcased the port’s proactive approach to emergency preparedness, and their commitment to refining response capabilities in order to ensure compliance with local and international regulations. “This kind of drill provides valuable training opportunities for our teams involved in oil spill response. It includes training on the use of specialized equipment, implementing response procedures, and understanding their roles and responsibilities in the event of an actual spill. The drill gave us the chance to test and verify the functionality of our response equipment, such as booms, skimmers etc. Regular testing helps to ensure the equipment is operational and ready for deployment, and although all our preventive measures are in place, this would mitigate any impact on the environment and communities if a spill does occur,” says Capt. Ravi Jayawickrema, CEO of Hambantota International Port Services (HIPS).
The existence of growing corals within a port that conducts oil bunkering operations showcases HIP’s heightened level of environmental awareness and strict adherence to regulations. “Corals are highly sensitive marine organisms that form intricate ecosystems, and they play a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity in the marine environment. Corals growing within the port boundaries where oil bunkering operations are conducted, is testament to our heightened levels of environmental awareness, strict adherence to regulations, implementation of robust mitigation measures, and active engagement with stakeholders to ensure sustainable ESG practices,” the HIPS CEO adds.