ITOPF was out in force for the Singapore Maritime Week, a week of conferences, exhibitions and social events in celebration of all things maritime, driven by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).
International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition (ICOPCE 2015), 21-24 April 2015
Richard Johnson was one of the speakers at ICOPCE 2015, an international event organised by the MPA focusing on preparedness and response strategies for oil and chemical spills. He was moderator for two panel discussions, one on "Dialogue on Incident Management in Singapore Waters" and the second on "Getting up to Speed with Claims and Compensation Developments". Additionally, he presented a paper on marine pollution risk at the pre-conference symposium. The conference provided a good opportunity to raise the profile of ITOPF's work in Asia and exchange views with other participants.
MPA Oil & HNS Spill Exercise, 24 April 2015
ICOPCE ended with a multi-agency spill exercise organised by the MPA to test Singapore's readiness to tackle oil and chemical spills. Code-named JOSE (Joint Oil Spill Exercise) 2015, the exercise involved both a tabletop exercise at the MPA's Port Operations Control Centre (POCC) and a full-scale deployment of oil spill response and fire-fighting equipment in Singapore waters.
ITOPF had assisted the MPA in planning the exercise which involved a collision between a Very Large Crude Carrier (VLCC) and a chemical tanker. In the scenario the VLCC suffered damage to two cargo tanks and some 5,000 tonnes of oil was spilled at Sundong Holding Anchorage, 4.5 km south of Jurong Island. Due to the impact of the collision, the chemical tanker sustained damage to the cargo tank cover on deck with a release of styrene vapour.
The tabletop exercise, which ran alongside the at-sea deployment was designed to simulate the Emergency Operations Committee (EOC) that would be formed under Singapore's National Contingency Plan during an oil or chemical spill. In total there were 18 different government agencies participating in the drill, along with salvage companies, oil spill response organisations, oil industry representatives and observers. Alex Hunt participated in the exercise in an advisory role to simulate ITOPF's typical involvement in EOC meetings. During the exercise advice was given on a variety of aspects of the response to the scenario, including interpretation of oil spill trajectory modelling, atmospheric modelling of the chemical vapour cloud resulting from the styrene release, air monitoring and potential hazards to responders, cooperation with neighbouring countries on aerial surveillance, mitigation measures for minimising damages to aquaculture and sensitive habitats such as mangrove, and recommendations were also provided on effective response strategies, including the application of dispersants. It was greatly appreciated that ITOPF was invited by the MPA to play such a central role in the national exercise and it is hoped that we will be able to join future events of this kind alongside ICOPCE.
While the tabletop exercise was running, David Campion attended the at-sea deployment as an observer on the MPA command vessel. Spill response teams from the MPA and local oil spill response organisations deployed containment booms and skimmers, and vessels fitted with dispersant spraying systems were also mobilised. A total of 22 response vessels were on site along with an aircraft fitted with an aerial dispersant spraying system and an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) with the capability to provide aerial footage of the scene in order to monitor the effectiveness of the clean-up operations.
1st Asian Marine Casualty Forum, 23-24 April 2015
ITOPF was invited to participate in the inaugural Marine Casualty Forum during Singapore Maritime Week. This not-for-profit event was organised and hosted by London Offshore Consultants (LOC) and aimed at providing a forum for discussion on current issues with a focus on practical response to maritime casualty management.
The forum was very well attended, with a total of 293 delegates from within the maritime world, including shipowners, P&I Clubs, correspondents, insurers, salvage companies and maritime lawyers. In addition to the strong industry turnout, international government interests were represented by Singapore MPA, Maritime New Zealand (MNZ), the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and UK Secretary of State Representative (SOSREP) Hugh Shaw, all of whom presented during the forum.
Throughout the forum there was a strong focus on salvage and wreck removal matters with recent casualties such as COSTA CONCORDIA in Italy in 2012 and RENA in New Zealand in 2011 under the spotlight, along with key issues such as Places of Refuge for vessels in distress.
On the first day of the forum Alex Hunt presented a paper on "Oil Spill Response: Some Key Issues", which concentrated on three factors that can have a dramatic effect on the effectiveness of response operations: (1) a lack of preparedness, including clearly defined roles and responsibilities and a well-structured contingency plan; (2) problems arising from late termination of clean-up; and (3) complications associated with political influence on response operations. Practical solutions to these issues were also discussed, including relying on observations made during joint surveys and experiences gained from past spills to help ensure that strategic decisions are mainly driven by technical criteria rather than political motives.
The presentation can be found on the Asian Marine Casualty Forum website: http://www.loc-group.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/11.-Day-1-1540-Alex-Hunt-Frequent-Issues-in-Spill-Response-PRESENTATION.pdf
Sea Asia, 21-23 April 2015
With so many industry personnel in town, ITOPF took the opportunity to raise awareness of our activities and meet some of our Members and Associates by manning a stand at the Sea Asia Conference and Exhibition. Sea Asia is the largest maritime event in Asia with over 16,000 participants from 85 different countries. Our stand attracted a lot of interest and provided an effective way of highlighting our role to many within the industry who were previously unaware of our work. It also gave us the opportunity to distribute our Technical Information Papers and other publications as well as publicise our film series. On the final day of the event we were visited by a number of students as part of the Sea Asia Youth Tour who took a keen interest in marine pollution issues.
Category: Training & Education