Port of Vienna investing EUR 500.000 into a new oil barrier

This safety precaution should prevent the flow of oil into the Danube in case of an emergency

Port of Vienna investing EUR 500.000 into a new oil barrier Bild: Hafen Wien

The Lobau oil barrier will be renewed by the Port of Vienna and will consist of a system of 9 cm thick pipes that can be inflated by a compressed air system. Once the system is activated, compressed air bubbles are emitted from the line. The air emerging from the nozzles creates a vertical flow in the water, which transforms into two horizontal currents on the water surface. These horizontal currents keep back oil floating on the water surface, thus it can be disposed properly in the event of leakage.

The advantage of the permanently installed compressed air system is that it is ready for use within a few minutes. Once a week, an interval check is made, hence the functionality of the compressed air oil barrier is checked. The system is fully functional even at high tide, and even when the oil barrier is active, unimpeded shipping traffic is still possible. 

Around 1,100 tankers call each year at the seven docking stations in the Lobau oil port, with more than 850,000 tonnes of petroleum products handled per year. The Lobau oil port, which is located in the 22nd district of Vienna, has a boundary to the north and east eith the Donauauen National Park, to the west with the Lobau central tank farm and to the south with the New Danube (discharge channel). The port is used for transhipment and handling as well as a winter harbor for tankers.