Chinese media has revealed the vessel operators behind the collision that caused a palm oil spill in the country’s mainland waters as Singapore-based Pacific International Lines (PIL) and Global Marine Service (GMS).
According to South China Morning Post, an incident between PIL’s Kota Ganteng containership and the Global Apollon, a Japanese-owned chemical tanker registered in Panama and belonging to GMS, was to blame for globs of stearin washing up on Hong Kong’s beaches.
The incident reportedly took place at 5 am on August 3, 2017, just a few kilometres southwest of Hong Kong as the Kota Ganteng was travelling to the port of Nansha at the mouth of the Pearl River Estuary.
The Global Apollon, which was heading east at the time from Guangzhou’s Xinsha Port, was bound for Wenzhou and Shanghai and was carrying 9,000 tonnes of raw palm oil stearin.
Built in 2015, the 141-metre oil-chemical tanker has a gross tonnage of 10,754 and a cargo capacity of 18,754 litres.
A PIL spokesperson told South China Morning Post that the bow of the Kota Ganteng hit a tank holding about 1,000 tonnes of refined blended and deodorised palm stearin on the starboard side of the Global Apollon.
Both vessels sustained damage but there was no injury to any crew on board.
On Monday, the Chinese government reported that 205 tonnes of palm stearin had been collected from the sea and beaches, resulting in six of the 13 closed beaches reopening.