Friday, November 18, 2011

Rena: A Cash Cow?

So Rena is still alive...
Despite the doom-and-gloom predictions two weeks ago that she was very likely to break up 'soon', she still creaks and groans on Astrolabe Reef with obvious structural damage (and probably more than what we've been told).
The oil removal work is virtually finished - much slower than we were promised. Now begins the removal of the containers - this too will be an extraordinarily slow job. In fact, so slow that if you extrapolate the supposedly wildly optimistic "maximum of three per day" figure released, it will be MONTHS before the 1200+ containers are gone! MONTHS! WTF??? Can they be serious?
Crane barge Sea Tow 60 is moored by Rena now, but the salvors are taking time to ensure all the equipment and systems are ready and working properly before commencing operations. And how many months have they had so far to do all this checking? Ahhh, but we're told the salvors on ST60 had to design a system for decoupling the containers, and each set of containers presents its unique challenges. Riiiiiiiiiight.
Meanwhile, another crane barge with a longer reach, Smit Borneo from Singapore, is en route and due to arrive in Tauranga by early December. Again, we've had MONTHS to get Smit Borneo here, get systems designed and tested...hmmmmmmm.
NZers have been incredibly tolerant of this situation to date. But I can't help feeling the public purse paying for all this is being viewed by some as a 'cash cow'. Certainly the speed of parts of this operation hints at that.
I find it 'very interesting' that someone on the salvor team, blogging daily about the sluggish efforts, has been shut down by legal beagles! Surely this wouldn't have been done if there was zip to hide...
Safety and caution are one thing.
Dragging heels and/or taking a long time to make decisions (perhaps intentially?) is quite another.

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