Malaysia, Singapore conduct chemical spill response exercise

Channel NewsAsia 28 Jul 16;

SINGAPORE: To test Malaysia and Singapore's readiness to tackle chemical spills, a joint exercise was held along the East Johor Strait on Thursday (Jul 28).

The exercise is part of the bilateral cooperation programme under the Malaysia-Singapore Joint Committee on the Environment, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and the National Environment Agency (NEA) said in a joint news release.

Thursday's exercise simulated a collision between a chemical tanker departing an oil terminal in Pasir Gudang, Malaysia, and a cargo ship departing an adjacent shipyard, resulting in the spillage of 30 metric tonnes of the chemical Styrene Monomer. Styrene Monomer is a flammable liquid which floats on water. Prolonged exposure to highly concentrated vapour could lead to unconsciousness, coma and death, MPA and NEA stated.

The drill also simulated two crew members of the cargo ship falling overboard as a result of the impact.

The Marine Department of Malaysia led response efforts, while MPA supported Malaysian authorities in areas such as spillage clean-up and search-and-rescue efforts. NEA also supported the exercise by monitoring air and water quality for signs of chemical contamination, information exchange with the Johor Department of Environment, and was ready to coordinate cleanup efforts along Singapore's shorelines.

In total, Singapore deployed four vessels, 30 officers and 10 observers to support the exercise, MPA and NEA said.

- CNA/dl

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