18 Mar 2014

$30,000 fine for container ship spill

2:55 pm on 18 March 2014

The owner of a container ship has been fined $30,000 for leaking about 1000 litres of oil into Tauranga harbour.

The Bay of Plenty Regional Council said German owners of the Liloa, MS Jule Schiffahrtsgesellschaft GmbH & Co. KG, were sentenced in the Environment Court in Tauranga.

They had pleading guilty to discharging a harmful substance into water in the coastal marine area.

The oil spilled over the ship's deck and into the sea after one of its fuel tanks overflowed during refuelling in July last year.

An oil slick 600 metres long stretched towards Mount Maunganui and washed up in Pilot Bay.

The council says its investigations revealed a number of errors in the Liola's refuelling procedures and poor record-keeping.

The company says its own investigation found that miscommunication led to the spill and it has since tightened its procedures.