Possible coastal cleaning in Kota Tinggi after Singapore’s oil spill incident, says Johor rep

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

JOHOR BARU, June 20 — The Johor state government has activated coastal patrols and monitoring activities near Sungai Rengit in Kota Tinggi today following notification of an oil spill at Singapore’s Pasir Panjang Terminal two days ago.

Johor Health and Environment Committee chairman Ling Tian Soon said the situation may necessitate the activation of a coastal cleaning action plan to carry out cleaning operations on the beach.

He said related agencies will also continue monitoring oil spill along Pengerang waters from time to time.

“The oil spill, involving low sulphur Marine Fuel Oil (MFO) 380, is estimated to be at 400 tonnes.

“Following the notification of the oil spill incident, the Johor Department of Environment (DoE) has requested assistance from the Southern Regional Marine Department (JLWS), Johor Port Board (LPJ), Kota Tinggi district office and the Pengerang Municipal Council (MPP).

“Other agencies are the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA), marine police, navy, Civil Defense Force (APAM), Dialog Terminals Pengerang Sdn Bhd, as well as national energy concern Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) in Pengerang to assist in patrol activities at sea to obtain more information on the current situation,” said Ling in a statement today.

He was responding to a spillover oil spill from Singapore following an incident at the republic’s Pasir Panjang Terminal on June 14.

Ling, who is also the Yong Peng assemblyman, said Johor DoE received a notification from Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) involving the incident that caused the oil spill at sea at 8.30am on Tuesday.

“The next day at around 9.30am, Johor DoE received a notification from MPP that they detected oil pollution on the beach area of Sungai Rengit in Pengerang.

Meanwhile, Tanjung Surat assemblyman Aznan Tamin, whose constituency was affected, inspected the area contaminated by the oil splll.

He was accompanied by Kota Tinggi district officer Ahmad Naziri Mohd Nasir and Johor DoE director Mohd Famey Yusoff.

Aznan, who is also the state education and information committee chairman, said a special meeting will be held tomorrow in relation to the recent incident.

“The meeting will be chaired by the Kota Tinggi district officer to reach certain resolutions as well as the intervention measures that need to be taken to prevent the incident from getting worse,” he said in a post on his official Facebook today.

On June 14, the Netherlands-flagged dredger Vox Maxima struck a stationary Singapore-flagged bunker vessel at Pasir Panjang Terminal at 2.20pm, causing oil to leak from its damaged cargo tank into the sea.

The incident’s location is reported to be less than 10km from the popular Sentosa island resort.

Following the incident, Singapore media reported that tidal currents deposited the oil along shorelines at Sentosa, Labrador Nature Reserve, the Southern Islands, Marina South Pier and East Coast Parkway (ECP).

In a joint statement by Singapore’s Maritime and Port Authority (MPA), National Parks Board (NParks), NEA and Sentosa Development Corporation, it said there have been no further leaks since the evening of June 14 and all escaped oil has been treated with dispersants.

It added that a contingent of 18 response craft were deployed to contain and clean up the spill.

As at June 15, it was reported that close to 1,500 metres of container booms had been set up, with absorbent booms in place to sop up encroaching oil at Berlayer Creek and the Rocky Shore at Labrador Nature Reserve in the republic.