A vessel collision between over at the western tip of Pulau Ubin heralded Singapore into a very slippery start to the New Year.
In announcement by Singapore’s Port Regulatory body, the Maritime Port Authority (MPA), said it was notified by the Johor Port Authority (JPA) of a collision between Singapore-registered container vessel WAN HAI 301 and a Gibraltar-registered container vessel APL DENVER off Pasir Gudang Port, Johor Malaysia.
It is believed that the Master of APL Denver has reported that one of its bunker (marine fuel) tanks had sustained damage resulting in approximately 300 tonnes of oil spillage. The JPA has deployed four anti-pollution craft on site and an oil boom around APL DENVER to contain the oil spill.
Some oil patches were spotted and the spillage has been contained off the western side of Pulau Ubin. For its part the MPA deployed a total of eight anti-pollution craft with dispersant spraying capabilities to clean up the spilled oil.
MPA last year announced a multi-agency joint oil and chemical spill exercise in order to test new spill procedures known by its very catchy name of NeatSweep for spill containment.
“The need to protect and minimise impacts of oil spills in our waters together with our partner agencies and stakeholders is an important component of our holistic safety programme. Multi-agency efforts to conduct regular joint oil spill exercises will be on-going to test and improve our spill response strategies and technologies for use in different scenarios,” was what its CEO Andrew Tan, said then.
Though there were no reports of injury, traffic in the East Johor Straits and Singapore’s port operations have remained unimpeded.
Singapore is a signatory to the MARPOL convention that aims and guides signatories on measures and steps to be taken to guard its marine environment, something that the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) has made its crusading mission throughout the globe.
The spill yesterday could not be viewed as a major spill because as the International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation, a non-profit organisation that deals with oil and chemical spills, says a large oil spill is something that is more than 700 tonnes.