SOURCE: Opflex Solutions

Opflex Solutions

February 02, 2012 14:53 ET

Opflex Becomes a Part of Italy's Costa Concordia Solution

PORTO GIGLIO, ITALY--(Marketwire - Feb 2, 2012) - From his home base on Cape Cod, Opflex Solutions' CEO Scott C. Smith saw the wreck of the Costa Concordia on TV along with the rest of the world. His personal knowledge of what happens in marine disasters -- his experiences with the Gulf Coast BP oil spill -- got him on a plane to Italy right away.

The oil still onboard the capsized cruise ship poses a real threat to the nearby coastal ecosystem. In addition to cooking oil in the galley, grease and oil in the engine room, 2,300 tons (575,000 gallons) of fuel oil remains aboard. Isola del Giglio is part of Pelagos marine sanctuary off the Tuscan coast of Italy. This is a productive ecosystem supporting a high degree of marine diversity.

On January 29th a demonstration of the OPFLEX® Technology was conducted for Italian Coast Guard Commander Gianluca D'Agostina. Speaking through a translator, the Commander warmly extended an invitation back to Porto Giglio to deploy Scott Smith's new design ideas that take into consideration the specific topography and water flow of the local region.

Scott Smith stated, "We are eager to work with the Italian Coast Guard to prevent irreparable environmental damage. I was honored to receive such a warm reception from Commander D'Agostina. The Commander is an example of a proactive leader taking all measures to protect the environmental sanctuaries of, and surrounding Giglio. Based on initial deployment on Monday along the water conditions and topography of the Giglio area, we are quickly working on a new OPFLEX® design to deploy in the next 2-3 weeks back in Italy."

Smith further explained, "The large scale of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico created an opportunity to test new solutions and technologies like OPFLEX®, giving us the required experience to be a part of the solution at Giglio. What we learned through our collaborative effort with British Petroleum is only reinforced at Giglio, that you must plan for extreme weather and rough seas. Also, given the nature and design of the rigid orange containment boom, oil can be temporarily contained, but not removed from the water unless the seas are completely calm so that skimmers can be deployed. With rough seas, oil escapes the containment booms where it will damage sensitive shoreline ecosystems. All products made with the OPFLEX® technology are designed to be fastened to the orange containment booms to work in conjunction and provide an oil recovery solution. Furthermore oil sheen prevents sunlight from providing the necessities of life for organisms beneath the surface and is harmful to all marine species that come in direct contact with the oil."

The International media was present during some of the OPFLEX® demonstrations. NPR, Associated Press and many local newspapers and TV News crews got footage of the sorbent removing oil from water. Documentation of the press coverage and Smith's meeting between Scott Smith and Commander D'Agostina can be found at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YCVNkqTIMnw

OPFLEX® technology has traveled the world -- from the Gulf Coast of the USA to China to Italy. To learn more about this (and other) oil spill response innovations visit http://www.opflex.com

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