Shipowner forced to close Rotterdam terminal

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Norwegian shipowning firm Odfjell has had to close its major tanker terminal in Rotterdam after Dutch authorities uncovered serious safety violations. Odfjell has also suspended the terminal’s director. 

Bergen-based Odfjell ranks as one of the world’s largest chemical carriers, and it owns and operates one of Europe’s largest chemical terminals at the Port of Rotteram. Newspaper Aftenposten reported that local residents had expressed concern over the terminal’s safety standards, not least after a large gas leak last year. Dutch authorities ordered the terminal to close last week after finding problems with fire-fighting equipment. Last spring they found 18 violations of laws and regulations at the terminal.

Now Odfjell hopes to restore local confidence in the terminal and get it reopened. “The most important thing for us is to look ahead, and see to it that the terminal is brought up to standard,” Odfjell executive Harald Fotland told Aftenposten. It was unclear how long the terminal would be closed.

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