Oakura firm cleans up big time

Spill Control NZ managing director Jason Sole with an absorbent boom and skimmer in the water.
Spill Control NZ managing director Jason Sole with an absorbent boom and skimmer in the water.

Hours after the Rena ran aground in the Bay of Plenty last year an Oakura spill response business was there helping mop up the mess.

This was where Spill Control NZ first made a name for itself, supplying Maritime New Zealand with spill control products and equipment, director Jason Sole said.

Since then business had been growing exponentially and at the NZ Oil and Gas Expo in early August Spill Control NZ won the Swan environmental award.

Sole, along with his partner and co-director Erica Watson, supply Global Spill Control products to more than 140 customers throughout New Zealand.

Having worked in the oil and gas industry for 20 years Sole has a sound understanding of the best methods to deal with oil and chemical clean-ups.

Located in Oakura, the couple started the company 18 months ago.

"Our work is growing at a faster rate than we've predicted and that's probably due to the Rena and our involvement there," Sole said.

During the Rena disaster Spill Control NZ worked closely with Maritime NZ supplying them with booms, disposal bags and dispersants.

"Within six hours we were getting stuff landed in Tauranga."

"We were up there that evening of the grounding."

Maritime NZ now has Spill Control NZ on call 24/7, he said.

While it is experienced in marine clean-up, most of the company's work comes from land- based spills.

Spill Control NZ has six spill response trailers which it rents out to the oil and gas and petrochemical industries.

The trailers are equipped with all the supplies needed to contain a small-scale spill.

"We've set up something which is quite unique."

A team of six qualified spill responders work for Spill Control NZ and another eight are on call.

"We would hold the largest resource of spill absorbents in New Zealand," Sole said.

Taranaki Daily News