Oil spill clean-up making progress in Singapore

Oil spill clean-up making progress in Singapore

The Maritime & Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) has announced that the next phase of its joint initiative to clean hard-to-reach land and coastal areas is fully underway after the oil spill in mid-June.

The authority is employing specialised equipment for clean-up efforts.

All the affected areas, including Sentosa Tanjong Beach, have entered the second phase of the clean-up response, which focuses on difficult-to-clean areas like rock bunds, breakwaters, and oil trapped deeper in the sand.

The cleaning methods for the second phase are decided jointly by the oil spill consultants and cleaning contractors, reported the MPA.

These methods will be adapted and refined as required, as the shoreline features of affected areas may differ. For biodiversity-sensitive sites, to minimise impact, strategies such as allowing for natural flushing may be adopted. 

READ: Singapore port battles ‘vessel bunching’ effect

The washing of berths at Pasir Panjang Container Terminal is about 20 per cent completed with the estimated completion date by the end of July 2024. Port operations are not affected during this clean-up effort.

According to MPA, the clean-up is to take around three months, though this will vary for each area. The cordoned-off areas of the beaches at Sentosa, along East Coast Park, and Southern Islands will progressively open for land-based activities.

READ: MPA addresses Tuas Port oils slicks claims

Many volunteers have stepped forward to offer their assistance in the clean-up operations; more may be mobilised in the final phase of the clean-up after agencies assess that it is safe to do so.

Partnering with relevant agencies, the Public Hygiene Council will help to train, equip, and coordinate with volunteers for this effort. This would be a safe and meaningful way for Singaporeans to contribute to the reopening of beaches and waters.

The MPA said agencies will work with partners and community groups such as Stridy and International Coastal Cleanup Singapore on the recovery efforts, for example, for the coastal clean-ups and surveys.

The port authority is reportedly seeking compensation from the shipowner of the vessel involved in last week’s oil spill.

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