Asia ports perfect chemical spill response

Exercise CHEMSPILL 2018 simulated a collision between a fully laden chemical tanker and a product tanker Photo: MPA Exercise CHEMSPILL 2018 simulated a collision between a fully laden chemical tanker and a product tanker Photo: MPA

The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore and the Marine Department of Malaysia have conducted a joint chemical spill exercise to test the Joint Emergency Response Plan or chemical spill incidents in the Johor Strait.

This emergency response exercise is part of bilateral cooperation under Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment.

"As chemical or oil spills are transboundary in nature, it is important that we conduct regular bilateral exercises with our immediate neighbours to strengthen regional and multi-agency response capabilities,” said Andrew Tan, chief executive, MPA.

Action plan

Exercise CHEMSPILL 2018 comprised a joint table-top exercise on 10 July 2018, followed by a full-scale ground deployment exercise which simulated a collision between a fully laden chemical tanker and a product tanker near Tajam Beacon, off Pulau Ubin.

As part of the simulation, the chemical tanker suffered damages to its cargo tanks, and some 500 tonnes of Benzene were spilled into the sea, while the product tanker suffered minor damages.

Two crew members of the chemical tanker were also injured. One was unconscious, while the other required immediate evacuation for medical attention.

MPA led Singapore’s part of the joint response efforts with Malaysia in areas such as spillage clean-up, environment monitoring around the affected tanker and evacuation procedure.

NEA supported the exercise by monitoring the air and water quality for signs of chemical contamination near the shorelines and exchanging information with DOE.

In total, Singapore deployed seven vessels and 50 officers from participating agencies to support the exercise.

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