UPDATE 1-Drummond building barge wrecked in Colombia; some diesel spillage

domingo 13 de abril de 2014 11:16 GYT

(Adds diesel spillage)

BOGOTA, April 13 (Reuters) - A barge carrying construction materials for U.S.-based Drummond Co Inc, Colombia's second biggest coal miner, was shipwrecked at the company's port late last week, the company said on Sunday, causing leakage of some diesel fuel into the sea.

Drummond only recently reopened the port in northern Colombia after the government had shut down operations until the miner completed an upgrade to meet new environmental legislation. It missed the January deadline for finishing work.

RCN Radio said the vessel was carrying 60 gallons (227 liters) of diesel oil. A Drummond statement confirmed the incident and said the crew was rescued but did not mention the amount of fuel that leaked into the sea.

"The motors of the ship that was rescued contained diesel fuel so containment barriers were installed in the area of the accident to confine the diesel that fell into the sea," Drummond said.

A Drummond spokesperson on Sunday said the port was operating normally and the incident had no impact on coal shipments. The cause of the accident is being investigated. She declined to comment further.

Drummond has suffered more than a year of logistics and labor strife, blighting the Andean nation's coal production and causing it to fall 4 percent short of its production target in 2013 when output totaled 85.5 million tonnes.

In December, Drummond was fined $3.6 million for polluting the bay in 2012 when a ship spilled tonnes of coal into the waters of Santa Marta.

The government shut Drummond's port in January after the new environmental law took effect and the company had not completed construction of its legally required conveyor belt system, slashing the country's coal exports by about a third.   Continuación...