Focused Cleaning in Full Swing

All the affected areas, including Sentosa Tanjong beach, have entered the second phase of the clean-up response, which focuses on difficult-to-clean areas like rock bunds, breakwaters, and oil trapped deeper in the sand. The cleaning methods for the second phase are decided jointly by the oil spill consultants and cleaning contractors. These methods will be adapted and refined as required, as the shoreline features of affected areas may differ. For biodiversity-sensitive sites, to minimise impact, strategies such as allowing for natural flushing may be adopted. 

Members of the public may notice a scaling down of general cleaning at the affected beaches, as more specialised teams are deployed to clean these difficult areas. General cleaning of the beaches may still be required, as oil remnants may continue to be washed ashore. 

The washing of berths at Pasir Panjang Container Terminal is about 20% completed with the estimated completion date by end July 2024. Port operations are not affected during this clean-up effort.

Gradual Re-opening

We expect the clean-up to take around three months, though this will vary for each area. The cordoned-off areas of the beaches at Sentosa, along East Coast Park, and Southern Islands will progressively open for land-based activities [1]. We will test the water quality until it is back to normal and stable for a week, before resuming swimming and other primary contact sea activities.

Marina at Keppel Bay has re-opened since 28 June 2024 following the removal of the accumulated oil in the marina and after a joint assessment with ITOPF and the cleaning contractors. High pressure washing of the marinas and condos will continue to be carried out to remove the oil stains. Separately, ONEo 15 Marina Sentosa Cove has also re-opened access to the marina since 25 June 2024 as localised clean-up efforts progress. 

Support for Businesses

On matters of claims, economic losses caused by the contamination can be submitted for claims assessment by British Marine, the insurer of MARINE HONOUR. A contact email to receive claims from affected parties has been set up and affected businesses can write to marinehonour@helmsmanlaw.com to enquire. 

In accordance with international and local laws, the owner of the bunker vessel MARINE HONOUR is liable up to the limits prescribed in law for the damage. Claims exceeding the liability of the owner of MARINE HONOUR will be made against the International Oil Pollution Compensation Fund 1992, which has a higher limit.

Support for Businesses

Agencies including the National Parks Board, Sentosa Development Corporation (SDC) and Singapore Land Authority are closely monitoring the impact of the oil spill on affected businesses. The agencies are developing rental deferral measures to help affected businesses with their cash flow, on a case-by-case basis. SDC will also look to promote a return of footfall through marketing and social media support. As mentioned by the Ministry of Transport during last week’s joint press conference, the economic losses resulting from the oil spill can be assessed for claims.

Volunteers for the Final Phase of Clean-up Efforts

Many volunteers have stepped forward to offer their assistance in the clean-up operations. Volunteers have not been directly involved in the beach clean-up actions, due to the complexity of the tasks, and for their personal safety.

Volunteers may be mobilised in the final phase of the clean-up, after agencies assess that it is safe to do so. For the final phase, remnant oil deposits hardened and mixed with sand, in the form of tar balls, will need to be sieved and separated for removal. Partnering relevant agencies, the Public Hygiene Council will help to train, equip, and coordinate with volunteers for this effort. This would be a safe and meaningful way for Singaporeans to contribute to the re-opening of our beaches and waters.

Agencies will work with partners and community groups such as Stridy and International Coastal Cleanup Singapore on the recovery efforts, for example, for the coastal clean-ups and surveys.

Ambient Air Quality Safe, Water Supply Unaffected, Seafood Safe for Consumption

The air quality in affected areas at East Coast Park, Labrador Nature Reserve and Sentosa remains well within safe levels. Information on air quality at affected beaches is published on NEA’s website.

Singapore’s drinking water supply remains unaffected. There is no impact to operations at national water agency PUB’s desalination plants and reservoirs.

To date, our fish farms remain unaffected by the oil spill. As a precautionary measure, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has been taking seafood samples from coastal fish farms in the East Johor Strait for food safety tests. SFA also continues to test imported fish. The test results indicate that our local and imported fish remain safe for consumption.

[1] The cordoned-off areas include the foreshore of the beaches where clean-up is on-going. When the clean-up is complete, the cordons will be removed. Unaffected areas of the beaches, especially towards the backshore, have remained open throughout this period.

Joint media statement

MPA | Maritime and Port Authority

NEA | National Environment Agency

NParks | National Parks Board

PUB | Singapore’s National Water Agency

SDC | Sentosa Development Corporation

SFA | Singapore Food Agency

SLA | Singapore Land Authority

National Environment Agency (NEA)

National Environment Agency (NEA)

National Environment Agency (NEA)