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Spill Notification Point
Contact can also be made to the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center (MRCC)
24hr duty no: 603 89413140
Petroleum Industry of Malaysia Mutual Aid Group (PIMMAG)
Tel: 6019 3131 631 (hotline)
Tel: 603 27836997
Competent National Authority
Director General, Department of Environment,
Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment, Level 1 - 4, Podium 2 & 3, Wisma Sumber Asli, No.25, Persiaran Perdana, Precinct 4, Federal Government Administrative Centre, 62574 Putrajaya, Malaysia http://www.doe.gov.my/
Tel: 603 8871 2000/2200
A National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP) to combat oil spills in the Straits of Malacca was initially produced in 1975. The plan was subsequently updated in 1989 and 2000 to extend its coverage to include the East Coast of Peninsular Malaysia and Borneo (Sabah, Sarawak and Federal Territory of Labuan). It has gone through a number of iterations since, the most recent being in 2021.
The Department of Environment (DoE), Ministry of Environment and Water has overall responsibility for oil spill response, with the major operating role falling to the Marine Department of the Ministry of Transport. In the event of an oil spill that has spread beyond the boundaries of neighbouring countries or one that occurs in Malaysia’s Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), coordination is carried out by the National Operation Committee (NOC) of the NOSCP. This is chaired by the Director General of the DoE and comprises representatives of various other government agencies and the petroleum industry. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs would be involved if assistance was required from another country.
If the spill occurs within (or is caused by) local facilities, such as ports, terminals, oil handling depots and oil exploration platforms, a local contingency plan (Tier 1) is activated, and cleanup operations are carried out by the operators of the facilities. The operation is monitored closely by the DoE. Should the spill be beyond local capabilities or scope, a Tier 2 Response, led by a State Operation Committee (SOC), is put into place. Beach clean-up operations are organised in conjunction with the local authorities. The NOSCP also takes into account the role of local experts from various academic disciplines.
The physical removal of oil is the preferred response. Dispersants, approved by the DoE, may be used in accordance with guidelines published in 2016 (Guidelines on the use of oil spill dispersant in Malaysia.)
The Marine Department has 12 stockpiles located throughout Malaysia and 13 multipurpose catamarans available for oil spill response and other duties.
Under the Malaysian Environment Quality Act (EQA) 1974, oil companies are required to operate adequate equipment. Stockpiles of equipment are based at several coastal sites with considerable stocks of dispersant and beach cleaning equipment. The Petroleum Industry of Malaysia Mutual Aid Group (PIMMAG) has 26 Member companies (including oil companies operating in Malaysia) and provides a coordinated Tier 2 response supplementary to member resources. There are three (3) manned equipment bases at Port Dickson, Federal Territory of Labuan, Kemaman and six (6) unmanned bases at Kertih Airport, Tok Bali, Kuching, Miri, Tawau and newly established at Bagan Luar.
Previous Spill Experience
Following the NAGASAKI SPIRIT (1992) incident in the Malacca Straits, oil industry equipment at Port Klang and Port Dickson was airlifted to Langkawi Island. However, only small quantities of oil went ashore. This was cleaned manually. In 1997 heavy fuel oil which spilt from the tanker EVOIKOS off the coast of Singapore came ashore along a 40km length of the Malaysian coastline. A successful strategy of monitoring drifting oil and protecting key resources was adopted by the Malaysian authorities. In 2007 container vessel SA HELDERBERG lost about 350 tonnes of marine diesel oil, IFO 380 and oily sludge following a collision with a tanker in the southern portion of the Malacca Straits. The spilled oil was treated with dispersants in an operation led by the Marine Department. Shoreline surveys found no evidence of oiling on the Malaysian shoreline or on fisheries and mariculture facilities. In 2017, a collision involving APL DENVER and another containership near Pasir Gudang in the Straits of Johor resulted in a spill of 300 tonnes of HFO which caused oiling of shorelines and fish farm facilities in both Malaysia and Singapore. Later that year bulk carrier SINICA GRAECA spilled up to 270 tonnes of IFO 380 following a collision in the South China Sea approximately 15–20 NM east of Bandar Penawar, Johor State. This led to some shoreline oiling which was largely cleaned manually.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances (HNS)
The Marine Department is the key player in an HNS response at sea and is developing the country’s capability in this area. Cooperative arrangements exist with Singapore whereby both countries would provide assistance in the event of an oil or chemical spil. Since 2014, the Marine Department has carried out joint chemical spill exercises with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to test the Joint Emergency Response Plan for chemical spill incidents in the East Johor Strait.
Prevention & Safety
|OPRC '90||OPRC HNS|
* not yet in force
Regional and bilateral agreements
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for Joint Oil Spill Combat in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore, was established with Indonesia and Singapore under the umbrella of Revolving Fund in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The SOP covers topics such as the response areas and division of responsibility among the littoral States, contact points, communication, information sharing procedures, inter-states assistance and reimbursement procedures. The objectives are to facilitate early information sharing and prompt and coordinated response to any oil spill incident.
Standard Operating Procedure for Joint Oil Spill Combat in the South China Sea including Brunei Bay for Malaysia-Brunei, 1995. The objectives are to establish a coordinated oil spill response system to deal with oil spills in the territorial waters and EEZ of the States of Sabah and Sarawak for Malaysia and Brunei..
ASEAN – Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan (ASEAN - ROSCP), with other ASEAN countries and in partnership with IMO. The ASEAN - ROSCP, developed under the Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response, 2014 (ASEAN MOU) was formally adopted at the 24th ASEAN Transport Ministers (ATM) Meeting on 8th November 2018 in Bangkok, Thailand. It provides a mechanism whereby ASEAN Member States can request and provide mutual support for response to oil spills, to the extent allowed by their resources. The Marine Department is the focal agency for ASEAN-ROSCP activities.
Date of issue: January 2021
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