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Search for Swedish oil slick is on

With storm winds abating, oil spill response vessel Louhi has set off to locate a slick of pine oil on its way to Finland from Sweden. As a precaution against the oil, power company Teollisuuden Voima is setting up oil booms in front of its Olkiluoto nuclear power plant units.

Louhi lähdössä satamasta matkaan.
Louhi lähti Upinniemestä Kirkkonummelta torjumaan Ruotsista Pohjanlahteen päässyttä öljyä lauantaina puolilta päivin. Image: YLE

The Finnish Border Guard is also carrying out a surveillance flight on Wednesday to locate the oil slick, which was last seen on Monday.

According to the Finnish Environment Institute, the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA) is to provide satellite pictures of the area early Wednesday evening.

The pine oil was discharged from the Arizona Chemicals plant in Söderhamn in Sweden last week.

On Monday afternoon, Swedish oil spill response vessels cleared away half of the 800 cubic meters of pine oil leaked into the Gulf of Bothnia. At that time, the slick was around 20 kilometres long and about 10 kilometres wide.

A warning about the pine oil has been issued to the rescue services of Satakunta and Ostrobothnia, as well as professional fishers, fish-farmers and the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

According to the Finnish Environment Institute, large numbers of marine birds could die if subjected to the oil.

Oil booms for Olkiluoto

Power company Teollisuuden Voima (TVO) set up oil booms in front of its Olkiluoto nuclear power plant units on Wednesday, as a precautionary measure against the oil.

The booms are to prevent any pine oil from getting into the cooling waters of the nuclear plants. If the oil reached them, power disruptions could occur.

However, TVO says the oil poses no risk to the safety of the nuclear plants.

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