The HARBO Boom oil spill first response system is changing the paradigm

Read More

It’s both a supplement and a paradigm shift in oil spill response operations. Typically, booms and operators arrive hours after the spill occurs, making the devastating consequences unavoidable. HARBO Boom supplements this response with a portable, lightweight barrier that can be kept onsite for immediate deployment. With HARBO Boom, oil spills can be contained in minutes with only two operators and a small boat, drastically improving clean-up capacity and the effectiveness of the full response.

It’s similar to a boom in that it’s deployed in the water to contain oil. However, as opposed to regular booms that tow the oil that’s already spread, HARBO’s HARBO Boom® oil spill first response system stops spills from spreading right when it occurs. It’s deployed around the spill until it’s fully contained. This way the oil is kept from spreading into large areas or split into multiple spots. HARBO Boom® is also the  smallest and lightest oil spill containment solution available, and can be stored onsite to be deployed immediately by anyone.

Yes regular booms are often cheaper but they are not an effective first response solution. The cost of booms used during a spill are only a small portion of the total spill cost and they can take 3-12 hours to be deployed escalating potential damage. Regular booms require large trained teams, expensive equipment, and multiple boats. In addition, clean-up costs, damage costs and reputational risks must be considered. HARBO Boom drastically reduces the damage of the spill with its immediate response capabilities, significantly lowering these costs without the extra manpower and equipment. And finally, consider the cost of the spill if you don’t contain it effectively.

By making HARBO Boom disposable, it can be highly compact and lightweight, quicker to deploy, and safer. Decontaminating a reusable barrier is hazardous and costly, unhealthy for the environment and especially challenging in remote locations.  Most regular booms are disposed of after contamination from use. Disposal costs for HARBO Boom are substantially lower because it’s made of plastic and requires significantly less handling.

No. The damage during these critical hours grows exponentially. Oil spreads and splits over a large area into an extremely thin layer over six hours. The volatile materials will evaporate quickly, while the rest of the oil coalesces and sinks down the water column. An immediate response would prevent this leading to much more effective clean-up and less damage.

There is no limit because it’s modular. Each 25m cartridge can be easily connected to the next. For example, when deployed, 40 cartridges will create a one-km-long barrier.

The unique patented design and geometry enables HARBO Boom® to ride the waves rather than fighting them. The smart design creates very low drag hardly affected by the wind. With its submerged angular shaped ballast, HARBO Boom reduces entrainment significantly.

Yes. But the advantage of the HARBO Boom® is that it doesn’t need to be towed. It’s deployed while encircling the spill. It is towable and comes with two powerful straps and special handles that enable easy maneuvering.

Its underwater geometry is angular, so oil cannot zigzag under it.

HARBO Boom® underwent two separate weeks of successful tests at OHMSETT, and was tested offshore in the Mediterranean Sea. It was also tested in the Pacific. In all cases, it was found to be very effective.

HARBO Boom® was tested at Sea State 4 (up to 2 m/6 ft wave heights), wind speeds of up to 25 knots, and between 0 ͦc – 30 ͦc /32℉ – 86 ℉ (water temperature.)

Each system is 25m/82 ft and is stored in cartridges weighing only 23 kg/50 lbs. With its compact size and weight, the cartridges require very little storage space. It can be carried by hand, car, compact boat, or helicopter and deployed by two operators and a small lifeboat size vessel.

Properly stored equipment does not need maintenance. We recommend checking the cartridges and stainless steel components once a year. HARBO Boom® should be checked for water absorption. If no problems were identified, the cartridges should be repacked. Call HARBO service for instructions. If the stainless steel (marine grade 316), is rusted, remove the rust with a suitable rust remover. Do not leave sharp edges that might damage HARBO Boom®.

Yes. Its dry weight is only 600 gr/1.3 lbs per 1 m/3.28 ft. Its specific gravity is like water so it rides the waves as part of the ocean and won’t sink. It will not capsize, but jump back to its natural position.

The draft’s height is 12 cm/4.5”. The skirt is 20 cm/8”. Because it’s built of small sections that are connected together with flexible material, it easily follows the curvature of the water. The revolutionary design was tested at OHMSETT and it kept a 7.5 cm/3” thick layer of oil. The test results statement was: “No Losses,” meaning no oil went under or above HARBO Boom®.

At the end of June 2018, HARBO was asked to help fight the giant spill at the port of Rotterdam (a 200 ton spill). We deployed 1,000 m/330 ft of HARBO Boom® in under two hours. HARBO also participated in an innovative technologies demonstration at the natural oil seep offshore the Pacific.

HARBO Boom® is equipped with specialty compressed sponges that absorb lots of water during deployment once it’s submerged. These sponges have advanced water retention capabilities, and the patented shape of the HARBO Boom makes it very stable. It can easily ride the waves, moving with them while preventing the contained oil from spreading.

HARBO Boom is built with a double strap inner “backbone” that withstands a pulling power of up to 1.1 tons — more than needed for deployment and containment. HARBO Boom’s external layer is a custom designed multi-laminate film. Boats can actually pass over it and the boom resurfaces intact. We have towed 16 components connected to each other (400m) from one side. At OHMSETT towing was tested to 0.7 knots.
Yes. For training only. We’ve developed a multi-use system that responds to the water in the same way as our disposable ones; however, it is only available for training purposes.