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Clean-up in Singapore enters second stage

Singapore authorities have entered the second stage of the oil clean-up following an allision between hopper dredger Vox Maxima (IMO 9454096) and bunker vessel Marine Honour (IMO 9422811), which caused a breach of one the latter’s oil cargo tanks, which released low-sulphur fuel oil to the sea

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said that 1,500 metres of booms had now been deployed, and that an additional 1,600 metres would be deployed in designated sites over the next few days. This would support the containment of accumulated oil, aiding the clean-up operation off the beaches and shorelines.

Additional booms will also be deployed off Changi East as a preventative measure. Seven oil recovery assets have been employed to skim and collect the remaining oil spillage off the water surface. The MPA said that some oil had been seen off Changi. Oil absorbent booms have also been deployed off biodiversity-sensitive areas at Chek Jawa Wetlands at Pulau Ubin, Coney Island Park, and Pasir Ris Park.

While West Coast Park is not affected, oil absorbent booms have already been deployed at the park to protect the mangroves at the Marsh Garden.

Additional containment and absorbent booms will be deployed within the next few days to protect the fish farms at the East Johor Straits and also Chek Jawa Wetlands and Changi Creek. A Current Buster system is being deployed off the Changi Exhibition Centre as a pre-emptive measure.

Current busters are a specialized oil floating containment and recovery device deployed from vessels, with each system consisting of a boom with a skirt. This extends below the water surface to collect the oil on the water surface. The Current Buster being used is capable of collecting up to five tonnes of oil in one craft-load before discharging.

Singapore’s National Water Agency has said that operations at Singapore’s desalination plants and freshwater reservoirs remained unaffected.

Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL) has deployed two Current Buster systems. One of the Current Buster systems is deployed off Labrador Nature Reserve to collect the weathered oil (oil that has undergone changes due to exposure to the environment over time, which affects its appearance and chemical composition).

The other system has been deployed off Bedok Jetty.

Two sets of skimmer-systems operated by T&T Salvage and Singapore Salvage Engineers Pte are also in use. The system includes the craft-towed booms to corral the surface oil, plus a skimmer to remove oil off the water surface into storage tanks. Skimmer systems are being deployed at Marina South Pie and off East Coast Lagoon.

MPA said that good progress was being made with the clean-up operations at the beaches and shorelines.

2009-built, Netherlands-flagged, 29,920 gt Vox Maxima is owned by Vox Maxima BV care of Van Oord Shipmanagement of Rotterdam, Netherlands. It is entered with NorthStandard on behalf of Vox Maxima BV. As of June 19th it was at anchor off Singapore.

2007-built, Singapore flagged. 4,709 gt Marine Honour is owned and managed by Straits Bunkering Pre Ltd of Singapore. As of June 19th it was at Singapore anchorage.