Clean-up operations are underway to contain an oil spill in the Yellow Sea near the Chinese port city of Qingdao, a day after an NGM Energy-owned suezmax tanker A Symphony, carrying about 1m barrels of bitumen mix, was struck by Panama-flagged 35,200 dwt bulk carrier Sea Justice.
According to Shandong Maritime Safety Administration, 12 vessels have been dispatched to deal with what is described as a “minor” spill, estimated at 500 tonnes (3,420 barrels).
Nearby vessels have been instructed to not go within 10 nautical miles of the location of the incident.
The Liberia-flagged 150,500 dwt A Symphony, which was at anchor near Qingdao, was hit by the Sea Justice at around 08,50 hrs local time on Tuesday. The impact caused a breach in its cargo tanks and ballast tanks. All crewmembers have been reported safe.
Hong Kong-based fuel trading company Run Cheng International Resource is believed to be the owner of the 150,000 tonnes of bitumen blend onboard the tanker.
In addition to environmental issues, the spill could jeopardise operations at the port of Qingdao, which leads all other world ports for handling inbound iron ore and all other ports in China for inbound crude oil. The northeastern port is also the second busiest port in China for international trade.