Enforcement actions ILT and RWS at BOPEC on Bonaire

Bonaire Petroleum Corporation N.V. (BOPEC) has until January 5th, 2018 to prove that they can deal with the serious arrears in maintenance. If they are not able to accomplish this, the company will have to empty its  fuel tanks and pipes at the beginning of February 2018 under onders from the Living Environment and Transport Inspectorate (Inspectie Leefomgeving en Transport (ILT)).

Olie overslag

This enforcement coincides with the enforcement of Rijkswaterstaat (RWS) that is focused on the use of the BOPEC piers. With no prospect of improvement, BOPEC can no longer load or unload fuels from ships as of May 2018. The ILT and RWS states  this in two letters to the oil storage company on behalf of the Minister and State Secretary for Infrastructure and Water Management.

BOPEC is a storage company for fuel oil that has been established on Bonaire since 1974. The company has an environmental permit since 2014, but suffers serious delays in the maintenance of storage tanks, piers, pipes and electrical installations. This leads to major safety and environmental risks.

The ILT and RWS warned BOPEC during their inspections in April 2017, upon which the company has drawn up a recovery plan, the so-called 'terminal recovery plan'. However, BOPEC, a subsidiary of the Venezuelan PDVSA, does not have sufficient financial resources to implement this plan.

BOPEC also supplies the fuel for the Bonaire power plant. In order to be able to continue to guarantee this delivery, a Taskforce has been instituted with representation of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy (EZK), Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations (BZK) and the Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW) working closely together with the Public Entity of Bonaire. In addition, the Taskforce is also working on a structural improvement of Bonaire's energy supply.

Since 2013 inspections have been carried out at the three storage and transshipment companies for fuels on Bonaire (BOPEC, Curoil Hato and Curoil Airport), because the island became a  Public Entity in 2010. These inspections are carried out jointly by the ILT with RWS and the fire department  (Safety Region Rotterdam Rijnmond on behalf of the Brandweer Korps Caribisch Nederland).