Hong Kong Tests Oil Spill Response

Monday, November 10, 2008

On Nov. 4, The Marine Department co-ordinated an annual joint exercise in the waters off Tsing Lung Garden, Tuen Mun, to test the response and efficiency of government departments and oil companies in handling oil spills.

A Marine Department spokesman said the anti-oil pollution exercise, code-named "Oilex 2008", enabled personnel of related organizations to have key functions in dealing with oil spills and individual and team knowledge, skills and capabilities examined.

As well as the Marine Department, five government departments, the Civil Aid Service, Food and Environmental Hygiene Department, Government Flying Service, Police Force, and Agricultural, Fisheries and Conservation Department, and six companies, Chevron Hong Kong Ltd, ExxonMobil (HK) Ltd, Sinopec (Hong Kong) Petroleum Holding Co Ltd., Shell Hong Kong Ltd, Hong Kong Response Ltd and Kai Fat Oil Pollution Response Ltd, took part in today's exercise.

The spokesman said that during the exercise, a mock 6,740-tonne tanker carrying 3,000 tonnes of fuel oil took in water northwest off the Brothers. The vessel's cargo tanks were damaged and the vessel beached off Tsing Lung Garden to avoid sinking. More than 100 tonnes of fuel oil spilled into the sea at a rate of 30 tonnes an hour.

The exercise was divided into six stages for checking the various anti-oil pollution techniques required at different stages. These techniques comprised the deployment of oil containment booms, oil recovery by skimmers, spraying of oil dispersants by launch and helicopter, placement of shore-sealing booms, shoreline clean-up, and recovery of booms and equipment.

(Source: The Gov’t of Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Marine Department)

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