Malaysia: Shipowners to Pay Bond for Spill Cleanup
Each of the two ship owners involved in Tuesday's container ship collision in Malaysia have been ordered to pay a RM1 million ($223,000) bond to the government to clean up the resulting oil spill.
The owners of the Singapore-registered 2,496 TEU Wan Hai 301 and the Gibraltar-registered 4,250 TEU APL Denver have both agreed to cooperate fully with clean-up works.
APL Denver is owned by Germany's HLL Pacific Schiffahrts and Wan Hai 301 is owned by Wan Hai Lines Singapore and operated by Taiwan's Wan Hai Lines.
In the incident, Wan Hai 301 allegedly suffered a power outage due to a generator failure. According to local media, the ship lost steering and rammed the APL Denver which was at berth. The impact tore a hole in the APL Denver’s hull, causing it to leak about 300 tons of heavy fuel oil into the Johor Strait.
The oil spill has reached the shores of three fishing villages: Kampung Pasir Putih, Kampung Teluk Kabung and Kampung Perigi Aceh, where around 10 fish farms have been affected by oil contamination. Around 300 fishermen are expected to seek compensation.
Meanwhile, The Star reports the Johor branch of Malaysian Nature Society is concerned over destruction of marine habitat, as the area is an important fish and mussel breading ground. Adviser Vincent Chow said: “The Strait of Johor is not an open sea... With the monsoon season, we fear strong winds will push the oil spills further harming the mangrove trees in the area.”
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore continues to coordinate clean-up efforts in Singapore’s waters. As of January 5, 17 vessels and 222 personnel had been deployed. Progress of the clean-up is being made along the western coast of Pulau Ubin and Nenas Channel.
Patches of oil have been spotted off CAFHI Jetty and also along the shorelines of Pasir Ris Beach, Changi Point Ferry Terminal, Changi Sailing Club and Changi Beach. Oil spill response vessels as well as containment booms and spill recovery equipment such as harbor busters and skimmers have been deployed at the affected areas.