28 August 2011

Massive flaring at Jurong Island

Towering above the skyline, massive flaring was going on at Jurong Island yesterday.
Here is the flare taken from Pulau Semakau's sea shore. Pulau Hantu is the forested area on the horizon. Pulau Bukom lies to the right and is not in this photo. I didn't notice massive flaring on Pulau Bukom on this trip.

I first noticed the Jurong flaring even as we were leaving the mainland toward Semakau. The three towers are on Jurong Island. The low seawall is at West Coast protecting the boat parking area there.
The flare was even more obvious as night fell. An orange glow in the sky behind the mangrove trees growing at Pulau Semakau. The bright white lights are the oil refineries on Pulau Bukom.
As we walked on the landfill wall, the glow of the flaring on Jurong Island is more obvious. As well as a second flare to the left.
Here's another look at the flaring on Jurong Island from the boat as we were nearing the mainland on our way home. The three towers are on the right.
Here's the location of Jurong Island relative to Pulau Bukom and Pulau Semakau.
I can't quite figure out exactly which of the many industrial facilities on Jurong Island is conducting flaring. If you do know, could you please leave a comment on this post? Thank you!

Update: Massive flaring continues on 30 Aug during our trip to Cyrene Reef.

Flaring is like an oil slick from the sky. Whatever is burnt off, eventually falls back into the sea. Here's more about flaring: what is flaring and some flaring observed especially the massive flaring at Pulau Bukom. In Feb 2010, we observed flaring at Pulau Bukom. Here's a view of flaring from Pulau Hantu with Andy's video of this. It was only in Sep 2010 that NEA's position on flaring was revealed in the media.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for highlighting this issue. For Jurong Island, might the flaring culprit be one of the many white circular structures (as viewed from the top via Google Maps) located at the extreme eastern end of the island ? The all-too-familar flare as shown in your photos can be seen from Pandan Reservoir & the nearby estates.

    I've no idea which facilities keep conducting flaring, but as a residdent of southwest S'pore, I can confirm that this phenomenon has been going on daily/ nightly for many years -- sometimes 1 flare, & sometimes 2 flares at a time (ie. 1 flare on each side of the 3 red-&-white industrial chimneys). In fact, there isn't a single day in my memory when there wasn't at least 1 flare routinely burning away day &/or night. It is definitely NOT a "rare occurence" (to quote ExxonMobil), or anywhere resembling "zero routine flaring" (to quote Shell).

    The flares are especially prominent from Pandan Reservoir & West Coast Park. Even if one's horizon is blocked, the massive flare(s) can be discerned at night by looking upwards -- the whole sky is flickering-red throughout the entire night. This was the case last night, & other previous nights as well.

    As for air quality in the southwest, it is generally hazy 80% of the time (like right now, 2pm). I reckon the PSI is somewhere between 60s & 70s on a "normal" day (ie. no haze from Indonesia), although NEA's published readings would always fall within the 20s-30s range -- which is bewilderingly contradictory to ground observations over all these years.

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  2. Thanks Pat for this information about flaring on Jurong Island.

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  3. Thanks Ria for documenting this. Very useful that you did for future reference and Pat's ground observations are helpful.

    From a friend's house in the west , this emergency venting appears to be off a flare stack in the Singapore Petrochemical Complex on the Ayer Merbau, Jurong Island. Flare stacks smaller in diameter from the container tanks and not as easy to see. They are always burning waste hydrocarbons in refineries, but the gas flares get dramatically larger when there are what they call "unplanned upsets" - I think this would qualify!

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