Oil spill threat averted


A worker using a water jet dispenser in the cleaning up of the oil spill which began at the Prai Bulk Terminal on Friday night. The operation started on Saturday morning.

ALTHOUGH the oil spill situation along the shores of Penang is now under control, environmentalists have urged the authorities to get tough with polluters to avoid similar incidents in the future.

Malaysia Nature Society Penang branch advisor D. Kanda Kumar said the oil spill should be taken seriously and the culprits should be detained.

“Although the situation is contained, the vessel or person responsible should be charged under the present maritime law to deter others from polluting the sea,” said Kanda Kumar.

A Malaysian oil tanker, which has its home port in Port Klang, is believed to have spilled oil at the Prai Bulk Terminal on Friday night.

Meanwhile, Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief operating officer Sasidharan Vasudevan said the Marine Department’s cleanup operation which started on Saturday morning was called off at 2.55pm yesterday.

A member of the cleanup operation looking at the oil spill.
A member of the cleanup operation looking at the oil spill.

“We were racing against time to complete the operation as it was conducted on a large area of 77sq km.

“More than 100 personnel worked to stop the spill from spreading further,” he said.

Sasidharan said about 15 boats from the Marine Department, PPSB and private oil companies were involved in the operation.

“We used a 150m oil boom near Gurney Drive to prevent the oil slick from reaching the beach. That proved to be a game changer as we managed to control it.

“The cleanup was done in record time, thanks to the private oil companies who have booms, tugboats and manpower,” he said.

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