Ship fire, removal of fodder at Port of Portland

Emergency services continue to respond to a fire on board a ship at the Port of Portland.

On Tuesday night, CFA crews onboard the ship discovered that the front, starboard side of the fodder storage silo was on fire and spreading to the rest of the storage area.

Fire suppression activities over the last few days have lowered the temperature within the silo.

Today suppression activities will include the injection of an inert gas into the sealed silo in an attempt to remove the oxygen within the silo. The top crust layer of the fodder will then be broken up and removed by CFA specialist crews wearing breathing apparatus.

The 800 tonnes of pelletised fodder will then be off loaded using a conveyer belt set up at the rear of the ship onto the pier and monitored for any hot spots.  Once the pellets have been determined safe, they will then be transported off site to a holding facility at Cape Nelson. It is envisaged that there will be one truck travelling to the site each hour. Each truck will be accompanied by CFA appliances for safety. 

Once unloaded at the holding facility any contaminated product will be removed and properly disposed of in line with environmental measures.

It is planned to relocate the ship from its present location at No 5 Berth to No 1 Berth, still located within the Dock Basin.  This is to allow for normal Port Berthing Operations to continue.

The Port of Portland operations have not been affected by the fire onboard the ship and business continues as normal.

Emergency services continue to ask that people avoid the area. 

Author: Sharon Mifsud