Oil Pollution Control SA, a subsidiary of CEF, provides oil prevention, control and clean-up services, mainly in South African ports and coastal areas, in terms of South Africa’s National Environmental Management Act.

OPCSA is a public entity that was established in 1992. It is managed in accordance with the Public Finance Management Act. It is by far the largest and most technically advanced players in the oil pollution, prevention and control market. In fact, the capabilities of OPSCA exceed the balance of all other pollution prevention and control capabilities in South Africa put together.

Its vision is to be the leader and partner of choice in the provision of oil pollution prevention and control services in South Africa, Africa and the Middle East.

Its mission is to provide a cost-effective oil pollution prevention and control service in South Africa that will address all the requirements of all stakeholders relating to environmental legislation. It also aims to provide a cost-effective oil pollution prevention and control service on the rest of the continent and beyond that will prevent the continued destruction of the environment.

OPCSA strives to provide effective oil pollution prevention and control services to especially the oil industry, the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, theNational Port Authority, the SA Maritime Safety Authority and other role players to preserve our environment in terms of National Environmental Management Act.

Operations

OPCSA has a well-established oil-pollution prevention and control unit in Saldanha Bay with staff well trained in maintaining and operating specially designed equipment. The head office is in Tygervalley, Cape Town in the Western Cape. This office provides management skills, funding, as well as administrative and reporting support to the OPCSA board.

OPCSA offers a 24-hour oil prevention, control and clean-up service, nationally and internationally. It services crude oil carriers or VLCCs discharging or loading cargo, VLCCs in distress outside port areas as well as during other in-port activities, such as bunker fuel where pollution can occur.

As Pieter Cotezee, the chief executive of OPCSA, explains, it is “always better to clean up the spill before it gets to shore, where the most environmental damage occurs”.

Its Saldanha-based pollution prevention and control unit is well equipped with the latest technology.

Facilities and equipment include 3 500m of self-inflatable booms that can be rapidly set up to secure an oil spill. OPSCA owns the Albatross, a highly specialised vessel that is equipped with purpose-designed brush skimmers that clean up the oil from the surface of the water.

Although OPSCA aims to clean up the spill before it reaches the shore, this is not always possible. All OPCSA’s staff are trained to handle oiled sea birds and it also has beach-cleaning equipment that can be used without causing unnecessary damage.

Aside from oil spills, OPCSA also manages the environment liabilities at Ogies in Mpumalanga on behalf of SFF. Although the old coal mines in the area which were once used as storage facilities for crude oil have been emptied, the residue in the mines has the potential to pollute the aquifers if they are not managed properly.