To test and demonstrate readiness to tackle oil and chemical spills, Singapore conducted a multi-agency joint chemical spill exercise, ChemSpill 2017, on Friday (28 Apr).
Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the exercise took place at the conclusion of the 10th International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference & Exhibition (ICOPCE), held in conjunction with the Singapore Maritime Week 2017.
ChemSpill 2017 comprised a tabletop management exercise at MPA's Port Operations Control Centre Vista and a full-scale chemical and equipment deployment in oil spill response. A total of 150 personnel from 25 agencies participated in the table top exercise and seaward exercise, located along Raffles Reserved Anchorage.
ChemSpill 2017 simulated a collision between a fully laden chemical tanker and a bunker barge off Raffles Reserved Anchorage. The former sustained severe damage, resulting in the spillage of 600 tonnes of Cyclohexane, a type of chemical used as industrial solvent and paint or varnish remover. Two crew members on-board the tanker were found unconscious and required immediate evacuation for medical treatment.
The exercise included responses to combat chemical pollution and test multi-agency responsiveness and co-operation.
Spill response teams deployed chemical protective gears, gas detectors, chemical containment booms, damage control equipment to seal leaks, and diving equipment for underwater damage assessments.
Mr Andrew Tan, Chief Executive of MPA, said, "As one of the busiest ports in the world and leading bunkering port, the ability to respond to any maritime incident swiftly, including chemical and oil spill is critical. Good coordination across various agencies is essential.”
“Today’s multi-agency exercise is a good opportunity for us to hone our response strategies as well as share best practices. We are pleased to have ExxonMobil Asia Pacific Pte Ltd and Chembulk Tankers supporting today’s exercise. We look forward to working with others to raise the overall level of safety in our waters.”
Some 40 ICOPCE delegates from the international shipping, oil and gas sectors were present to observe the exercise.
List of participating organisations of ChemSpill 2017 can be found on Annex A in the MPA press release.