Multi-agency Chemical Spill Exercise Demonstrates Singapore’s Readiness to Manage Pollution Incidents

24 October 2019

         Organised by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), the Chemical Spill Exercise (ChemSpill Ex) 2019 tested the readiness and response capabilities of Singapore in managing chemical spills that happen at sea. 

2       The exercise was held as a post-conference event on the last day of the International Chemical and Oil Pollution Conference and Exhibition (ICOPCE) on 24 Oct 2019, which focused on marine pollution prevention and incident management strategies. 
3       150 personnel from 20 agencies, including the MPA, Singapore Police Coast Guard, the Republic of Singapore Navy and the Singapore Civil Defence Force participated in ChemSpill Ex 2019, which comprised a tabletop and a seaward equipment deployment exercise. Some 40 ICOPCE delegates, as well as 28 international participants of the Maritime Public Leaders’ Programme observed the exercise located along Raffles Reserved Anchorage.

4       Simulating the collision of two tankers at Sinki Fairway that resulted in the spillage of 500 tonnes of Xylene into the sea, the exercise deployed chemical protective gears, gas detectors and chemical containment booms in managing the chemical spill incident. As part of the exercise, two personnel were also medically evacuated using height rescue techniques. They were treated for the inhalation of Xylene, which can cause headache, nausea and dizziness amongst other symptoms.

5       Ms Quah Ley Hoon, Chief Executive of MPA, said, “As a responsible hub port and flag state, Singapore proactively promotes effective incident management of chemical and oil spills. Today’s exercise demonstrated our collective responsiveness and tested multi-agency cooperation in managing chemical pollution in one of the busiest waterways in the world.” She added, “Besides strengthening Singapore’s incident management capabilities, MPA strictly enforces the standards set out in the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (MARPOL) to minimise the pollution risks of Singapore-registered ships around the world, and vessels calling at our port.” 

Water curtain dispersing simulated Xylene fumes

Water curtain dispersing simulated Xylene fumes

Simulated medical evacuation of unconscious crew