Debunkering efforts continue for the TS Taipei, which grounded off Shimen, Taiwan last month, causing a large bunker spill after the vessel fractured in the middle.
Minister of the Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MOTC) Chen Jian-yu said he hopes to see the removal of all remaining containers on the deck of the T.S. Taipei ship this week itself.
The cargo ship was carrying 20 tonnes of potassium perchlorate, 19.5 tonnes of fats, 18.2 tonnes of toluene, 11 tonnes of paint, 8.5 tonnes of corrosive liquids, and 6 tonnes of flammable lubricants, and several empty containers from among the total of 617 boxes on board the ship fell into the sea.
The oil spill cleanup
work is likely to take another month to complete. The oil spill has polluted 20.3 kilometers of shoreline. The department estimated that the whole cleanup project will be completed by May 15 and the ship dismantling work is scheduled in August or September.
The cargo ship split in two after it ran aground off Shimen Township in New Taipei City, causing an oil slick along
the northern coast.
The Taiwanese government has been criticized for its slow response to the incident. In a statement March 26, the Environmental Protection Agency blamed
heavy weather for hampering salvage and oil pumping operations.
The TS Taipei is owned by regional intra-Asia carrier TS Lines, a Hong Kong-based private company with 72,000 TEU of smaller container vessels, mostly chartered.