Singapore – dredger hits stationary bunker tanker – major clean-up operation

Jun 20 2024


Making progress on the sea and shore clean-up operations

 The northern part of the Pasir Panjang Container Terminal (PPT) is cleared of oil slicks following the deployment of the Current Buster, an oil recovery and containment system, since 18 June. Thorough cleaning of the oil-stained Berth 36 near the allision area using high-pressure jets is on-going.    
 
2.         PPT was the location of the oil spillage following the 14 June allision between Netherlands-registered dredger VOX MAXIMA and stationary bunker tanker MARINE HONOUR.  The deployment of the Current Buster at this upstream location is important to prevent surface oil from flowing westwards towards West Coast Park which is unaffected till date, and also eastward towards downstream locations, including Sentosa beaches, Sentosa Cove, Southern Islands, and Keppel Marina. The oil recovery operations at sea are guided by MPA’s and Meteorological Service’s predictive modelling of tidal and wind conditions, and drone & satellite imagery. 
 
3.         Three Current Buster systems have been deployed. Two systems capable of five tonnes of recovered oil per load are deployed off western affected areas at PPT and Sentosa. The other system capable of 35 tonnes load is deployed off eastern affected areas off East Coast and Changi East as a precaution to recover any oil and prevent further spread. Another 35 tonnes-load Current Buster system will be deployed shortly.  
 
4.         Total length of booms deployed since 14 June is 3400 meters. This is more than the approximate 3100 meters originally planned. 
 
 Progress of Shore Clean-Up Effort 
 
5.         Sentosa: The deployment of the containment booms off the three Sentosa beaches of Siloso, Palawan and Tanjong beaches has been completed. These booms will help prevent additional oil from being washed ashore while the beach clean-up operations are ongoing.  A large majority of Siloso beach has been cleared of oily sand. This will be followed by efforts to commence thorough cleaning of the oil-stained lagoon-facing rock bunds. The beach clean-up efforts at Palawan and Tanjong beaches are ongoing with the focused cleaning planned in the next phase after Siloso beach clean-up is completed. While the beaches remain open and island businesses are operating as per normal, sea activities and swimming are not permitted.   
 
6.         Labrador Nature Reserve and Cooper Channel: The recovery of the accumulated oil off Labrador Nature Reserve and Cooper Channel is ongoing after the booms were put in place on 18 June. These are on top of booms already deployed there to protect Berlayer Creek and the Rocky Shore at Labrador Nature Reserve.
 
7.         St John’s, Lazarus, and Kusu Islands: As at 5 pm yesterday, the beaches at St John’s, Lazarus and Kusu Islands have been cleared of oily sand. The beaches will be monitored for further signs of oil slicks.
 
8.         East Coast Park, Tanah Merah and Labrador Nature Reserve: Clean-up efforts by National Environment Agency (NEA) are progressing well at East Coast Park. A large majority of oil deposits on the beach has been removed. Parts of Labrador Nature Reserve and the beach at Tanah Merah have been largely cleaned up. However, as the tides may continue to sweep in remnants of oil deposits, further clean-up efforts would likely be required. 
 
9.         Changi and Pasir Ris Park: As at 5 pm yesterday, no oil has been observed at Changi and Pasir Ris beaches. NEA will continue to monitor the situation closely. 
 
10.      As a precaution, members of the public are advised against swimming at the beaches and engaging in other primary contact water activities until further notice.  
 
 11.      No oil has been observed off biodiversity-sensitive areas at Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin, Coney Island Park, and Pasir Ris Park.  Absorbent booms will continue to be deployed there as preventive measures. No oil has been observed off West Coast Park and absorbent booms have been deployed as a precaution to protect the mangroves at the Marsh Garden. 
 
12.      There have not been any reports of oil slicks sighted off Changi since 18 June.   
 
Fish Safe to Consume. Ambient Air Quality Safe and Water Supply Unaffected   
 
13.      To date, none of our fish farms have been affected by the oil spill. Nonetheless, as a precautionary measure, the Singapore Food Agency has taken fish samples from coastal fish farms in the East Johor Strait for food safety tests. The test results confirmed that our local fish are safe for consumption.  
 
14.      The air quality at affected areas at East Coast Park, Labrador Nature Reserve and Sentosa remains well within safe levels. NEA will continue to monitor the air quality at the affected areas daily to ensure the safety of the public and personnel involved in the clean-up operations. Information on air quality at affected beaches is published and updated daily on NEA’s website. 
 
15.      PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency, would like to assure the public that Singapore’s drinking water supply remains unaffected. Drinking water quality readings remain normal and there is no impact to operations at all the desalination plants and reservoirs.  
 
Progress of Clean-Up Efforts at Marinas 
 
16.      Containment booms have been laid at the mouth of Keppel Marina to facilitate the clean-up efforts of the accumulated oil. A total of about 20 clean-up personnel and two skimmer systems to recover the accumulated oil have been deployed since 18 June.   
 
17.      Oneo 15 Marina has maintained restricted access to the Marina. Localised clean-up efforts continue.  
 
 Regional Cooperation 
 
18.      Singaporean authorities are in touch with their Malaysian counterparts to cooperate on efforts to address any further impact of the oil spill. Singapore, Malaysia, together with Indonesia, are part of the Revolving Fund Committee, where the three littoral states can request and provide support for oil spills and clean-up operations in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
 



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