Spill Notification Point
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (for oil & HNS)
Marine Environment & Safety 7B Keppel Road #19-00
Tanjong Pajar Complex
Tel: +65 63252488 (24hr) or +65 63252489 (24hr) or ++65 6325 2428
Fax: +65 6325 2824
Secondary contact point:
Port Operations Control Centre
7B Keppel Road #21-07/09
Tanjong Pajar Complex
Tel: +65 63252493/4 (24hr)
Competent National Authority
Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore
460 Alexandria Road
#18-00 PSA Building
The Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) is the national authority responsible for regulating and controlling oil spill response operations within Singapore territorial waters. Pollution response is directed from the Port Master's Department with a senior officer assuming the role of On-Scene Commander. Under the regulations made under the Prevention of Pollution of the Sea Act, the MPA can call upon equipment, materials and manpower held by the various oil companies and other private enterprises operating in Singapore. If oil impacts the shore cleanup responsibility rests with the National Environment Agency (NEA), a statutory board under the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources, which would provide the necessary manpower and logistic support.
An Oil Spill Contingency Plan was developed by the MPA as a supplement to the Marine Emergency Action Plan (MEAP). The NEA and various other government and private organisations, including major oil companies with a presence in Singapore, are parties to the plan. The Plan caters for all three tiers of pollution incidents and includes up-to-date lists of response capabilities in the Port of Singapore and the region. For a Tier 1 incident, clean-up would be performed using the vessel’s or terminal’s resources; for Tier 2, an Emergency Operation Committee (EOC) would be convened, involving government agencies and other stakeholders. Tier 3 spills would require extensive multi-agency response, using local and potentially overseas resources. The Plan is updated regularly based on review findings after incidents or exercises. An oil spill exercise is conducted at least once a year and a full deployment exercise is held every two years.
Every operator of an oil or HNS terminal, shipyard, cargo terminal and offshore installation is required to have an emergency plan to deal with oil or HNS incidents. These must be submitted to MPA for approval.
In 2007 the MPA signed a Memorandum of Understanding with ITOPF, which was renewed in 2013, 2017 and 2020. This sets out agreed rates for vessels and equipment deployed by MPA in the event of a spill from a vessel insured by the International Group of P & I Clubs. When ITOPF is asked to attend a spill in Singapore waters, ITOPF's Technical Adviser would usually be invited to sit with the MPA's Emergency Operations Committee to offer advice and assistance in relation to the particular circumstances of the incident.
The policy is to use dispersants as the primary response where practical and where the advantages in terms of environmental protection outweigh the disadvantages of cost and ecological damage. Dispersants must be approved for use by the MPA and a dispersant list and further information is provided on their website. In addition, booms and skimmers are used to protect key resources. Dispersants are also used to clean beaches once bulk oil has been removed manually.
The MPA maintains equipment, including anti-pollution vessels, boom, skimmers, portable storage and dispersant spraying systems, as well as calling upon resources from private companies, as required.
Operating oil companies are required to hold minimum stocks of oil combating equipment which can be called upon by the MPA. These stocks include dispersants, spraying vessels, knapsack sprayers, dispensing pumps, booms, skimmers and portable communication sets.
Singapore Oil Spill Response Centre (SOSRC) is a private oil spill clean up company. It maintains a stockpile of anti-pollution equipment, including dispersants. The Petroleum Association of Japan (PAJ) has sited a small stockpile of response equipment with SOSRC, comprising heavy oil skimmers, booms and portable storage tanks.
Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL), an oil industry spill response cooperative, has established a large stockpile of air-transportable equipment at Loyang designed to combat spills in the Asia-Pacific region, This equipment includes aerial spraying systems, two dedicated pollution combating catamarans and containment & recovery packages for offshore and inshore response.
Previous Spill Experience
Singapore has responded to several major oil spills in the past, including the MONEMVASIA (1983); STOLT AVANCE (1987); EL HANI (1987); CENTURY DAWN (1988) and EVOIKOS (1997). An active response using dispersants was organised on all occasions. The oil spill from the EVOIKOS is the largest spill (~29,000 tonnes) experienced in Singapore. More recently, in 2010, a collision involving MT BUNGA KELANA 3 in the Singapore Strait resulted in a release of approximately 2,500 tonnes of crude oil. This stranded along several kilometres of the southern and eastern shorelines of Singapore and approximately 35 km of shoreline in Malaysia. The response involved a mixture of techniques, including dispersant application, containment and recovery and manual collection from shorelines. In 2015, tanker ALYARMOUK spilled approximately 4,500 tonnes of crude oil following a collision 11 nautical miles north-east of Pedra Branca. Some shoreline oiling in Indonesia occurred but the source is unconfirmed. A large proportion of oil from ALYARMOUK is understood to have evaporated or dispersed. 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. Singapore has also experienced a number of smaller bunker incidents.
Hazardous & Noxious Substances
Singapore’s Chemical Contingency Plan (Marine) is a supplement to the Marine Emergency Action Procedure and was developed by the MPA with the participation of governmental agencies (such as the NEA and the Singapore Civil Defence Forece) and the Marine Terminal Emergency Response Committee (MTERC) of the Singapore Chemical Industry Council (SCIC). Industry would be called upon to be part of the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) if required. The plan deals with incidents involving bulk chemicals carried by ship at sea and at terminals. MPA Marine Emergency Officers are trained in HNS response and have access to CHEMWATCH, a Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) database. All chemical tankers arriving in Singapore are required to provide an advance report containing details of the chemicals they are carrying to the MPA.
Prevention & Safety
* not yet in force
Regional & Bilateral Agreements
Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore, under the Revolving Fund Committee (RFC), have procedures for cooperation should there be an oil spill in the Straits of Malacca and Singapore.
The Regional Oil Spill Contingency Plan (ROSCP) for Southeast Asia region developed under the Memorandum of Understanding on ASEAN Cooperation Mechanism for Joint Oil Spill Preparedness and Response (ASEAN MoU), entered into force in 2014 and was formally adopted in 2018; it provides a mechanism whereby ASEAN Member States can request for, and provide mutual support in response to oil spills, to the extent allowed by their resources.
Date of issue: October 2020
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