Oil spill in waters off Penang mopped up


  • Nation
  • Monday, 30 May 2016

Much cleaner now: Penang island’s north-eastern coastline with The Esplanade’s field and Fort Cornwallis in the foreground looking better after the clean-up.

GEORGE TOWN: An oil spill that polluted a 5km coastline stretching from Swettenham Pier to Gurney Drive has been cleaned up.

Penang Port Sdn Bhd (PPSB) chief operating officer V. Sasedharan said the clean-up operation that involved the PPSB, the Marine Department, the Department of Environment (DOE) and private oil companies was completed at 2.55pm yesterday.

Earlier, Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng said it was “totally unacceptable” that the Federal Government kept Penang in the dark about the spill.

Describing it as an “environmental crisis,” Lim said the state government was only informed after 24 hours.

“The spill involved a 70km sq area. I have been trying to get in touch with Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department (Datuk Seri Shahidan Kassim) since Saturday for more information but could not reach him,” Lim said after visiting the Sri Kahlee Amman temple in Air Itam yesterday.

“We have identified the vessel responsible for the spill,” added Lim.

Checks showed that the vessel was an oil tanker built in 2011 and registered in Port Klang.

“While we understand that it’s a Federal Government operation, we should have been informed early,” Lim said.

DOE officer Nor Juliana Jaafar denied that the source of the spill had been identified as investigations were still on-going.

“I am not aware of the information and our reports on the incident are directly handed over to the director-general. However, we can confirm that it was fuel oil,” she said.

The oil spill was detected near the Prai Bulk Terminal on Friday night.

The oil slick spread to The Esplanade and Gurney Drive where pictures showed strips of black oil at the shorelines.

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Metro , northern region , oil spill , lim guan eng

   

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