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Singapore authorities to spend three months on next phase of 400-tonne oil spill cleanup

With the removal of oil slicks and oil-soaked sand largely completed from an oil spill on, Singapore moves to a three-month phase of cleaning oil remnants from hard-to-reach areas like rock bunds and breakwaters.



With the removal of oil slicks from the sea and oil-soaked sand from affected beaches largely completed, Singapore authorities are moving to the next phase of the cleanup of a 400-metric-ton oil spill.

The oil spill occurred after a Netherlands-flagged dredger struck the Singapore-flagged bunker vessel Marine Honour on 14 June, causing oil from the latter’s damaged cargo tank to spill into the water.

This phase, expected to take around three months, involves cleaning oil remnants in less accessible areas like rock bunds and breakwaters, where oil could be trapped in crevices or deeper below the sand.

Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu outlined the complexity of this phase during a press conference on 24 June, stating it requires trained personnel and specialised equipment.

“We need to flush out the oil that has been trapped in the boulders, underneath the boulders… We need to discover what’s underneath the sand, see whether there is further contaminated sand deep down below,” Ms Fu said.

“We think that three months is a good gauge, but we are getting ourselves ready for surprises.”

The final phase will involve removing tar balls using rakes and sieves, with volunteers assisting to free up cleaners for more specialised tasks and speed up the reopening of beaches.

“We will ensure that this is conducted safely and that volunteers are properly equipped,” Ms Fu added.

The prevailing Southwest Monsoon and expected short thundery showers may, however, impact the cleanup operations. Storm surges could bring oil remnants back to shore, while rain and certain tidal conditions might help flush the remaining oil back into the water.

Ms Fu emphasized worker safety, especially in navigating rocky and slippery terrain, and precautions in bio-sensitive areas.

Public areas will reopen progressively after the cleanup, with hopes to reopen less affected areas earlier, such as certain stretches of East Coast Park.

However, swimming and water activities will resume only after water quality has returned to normal and is stable. Water samples will be collected and tested to ensure consistency for about a week.

In Sentosa, beachfront businesses at Siloso, Palawan, and Tanjong beaches are open, except for two conducting sea activities.

Regarding the impact on businesses, Ms Fu acknowledged the need for patience from those affected, particularly sea-based activities.

Ms Fu confirmed the air quality at affected beaches remains within safe levels despite occasional odours and that Singapore’s fish farms and drinking water remain unaffected, with twice-daily food safety tests ensuring local fish are safe for consumption.

Specialised cleaning at Sentosa’s Siloso beach has already begun, supported by the Singapore Civil Defence Force’s Rapid Response Fire Vessel. Cleanup at selected rock bunds at East Coast Park beaches will start soon, followed by more challenging tasks at Sentosa Cove and Labrador Nature Reserve.

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), National Environment Agency (NEA), and other agencies are deploying effective methods while minimizing contamination to surrounding areas.

So far, about 550 tonnes of oil-soaked sand and debris have been removed and sent to toxic waste treatment facilities.

Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat announced the start of operations to remove the remaining oil onboard the damaged bunker vessel Marine Honour.

Approximately 400 tonnes of oil remain in the ruptured tank, with another 800 tonnes in undamaged tanks. “Our surveyors have completed their assessment and expect the removal operations to take about one to two weeks,” Mr Chee said.

The liquid cargo from the ruptured tank will be sent to licensed toxic industrial waste collector Singaport Cleanseas for processing.

Marine Honour, anchored off the western petroleum anchorage, has a 35-tonne oil load Current Buster system ready to respond to potential leaks.

Mr Chee highlighted ongoing communication with Malaysian and Indonesian counterparts and the need for continued monitoring as oil remnants may still affect coastlines.

Singapore conducts oil spill response exercises, entitled Joint Oil Spill Exercise (JOSE), biennially, with the next one scheduled for October. In the previous exercise, a tanker with 30 times the capacity of Marine Honour was used for simulation.

Mr Chee addressed the liability for the incident, noting that the owner of Marine Honour, under strict liability laws, is responsible for pollution damage. British Marine, the vessel’s insurer, has set up a contact for claims from affected parties.


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Soon , expect a new slew of price increases on everything under our SG skies…our share , to pay for this oil spill clean up…
I can bet my humble hdb (pondok in the sky) on it..

One oil spill theyre fumbling, yet sgov talked about a nuclear energy plant in the future..omg!

Why dont they just employ some intl experts to do the job right..
Now these clueless ministars are going round and round the angsana tree.
One ministar incharge, 2 others to hold his hand😂

Hmm… That’s the calibre of 4Gs leeders we taxpayers are paying and getting

Anything can’t handle or overwhelming, like covid, convene a committee or conference with 3 humonguously paid clowns sitting together at the table.

So expensive. What’s a joke!

They are experts in fixing oppos.
Fixing oil spills? No clue …

“Singapore conducts oil spill response exercises, entitled Joint Oil Spill Exercise (JOSE), biennially, with the next one scheduled for October. In the previous exercise, a tanker with 30 times the capacity of Marine Honour was used for simulation” Comment: judging from the “mitigation” efforts so far and the expansion of the spill to Malaysia and Indonesia, I would question if all these exercises had been meaningful or useful. After all, the various agencies trained with a leak 30 times what actually happened. The current spillage should therefore be a breeze to deal with. But, in reality, those exercises have proven… Read more »

This chee hong chap speaks with forked tongue.

At the beginning, claimed spill mitigated. Now need 3 months to ckean up. Maybe more


Can see how inadequate the ‘4G’ team is.
God Bless SG.
Long press conference with self-praising.

nice…make those suckers in SG pay thru their pants and panties, after all they are those who are living the good life make possible by this capable and able Governments, and keep the good insureance monies for better use instead…Make those idiots in SG pay! hard and dick hard

Not sure I understand, didn’t CHT own praise the clean up team for fast responds to the spill, how is taking 3 months fast?

“This phase, expected to take around three months, involves cleaning oil remnants in less accessible areas like rock bunds and breakwaters, where oil could be trapped in crevices or deeper below the sand.”

Bravo!!!! so this million dollar committee just learned this

They run wayang emergency exercises never know about this.

SO who mentioned it is 3 months some expert. Can the expert come out please explain clearly.

I thought 1 Mini-star said taken prompt actions to contain the oil spill?

And all those drills and previous experiences on oil spills still not enough learning curve ended up just like MRT? Running MRT since the 1980s yet everything falls apart when Cleopatra took over till today still struggling to prevent breakdowns. Just blame others to get by

At long last, disGrace showed her angst face and said something.

There goes the 1000s and 1000s of Millions and Millions of cents Dr Lily Neo requested from Vivian Balakrishnan to step up just a tiny tiny bit of semi luxury meals for the Poor in SG that had Bala furious to chide Lily for wanting the poor to eat in restaurants.

Mathematically HOW MUCH is the oil spill clean up DRAWING from SG Reserves, how many 100$ of 1000$ of Million$ Dollar$. And don’t this this need to have Tharman’s permission to use since this presumably 1000$ of Million$ of Dollar$ isn’t an item part of Regular Budget?