23 December 2008

Pollution at Punggol: what goes on nearby?

An oily substance that leaves a black powdery residue has affected 200-300m of the shore near Punggol Jetty, the Straits Times reported today.

Though the cause could not be confirmed, one industry insider speculated that one of the many ships or bumboats plying the area - a busy route - could have discharged oil into the water. The National Environment Agency said it is working with the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore to investigate the cause.

The Western tip of Pulau Ubin -- where Outward Bound Singapore is located -- lies opposite Punggol as well. I hope their shores were not affected. Unfortunately, I have yet to visit Punggol's shores and thus do not know what kind of marine life is found there.

What goes on near Punggol's shores?

Punggol Jetty lies just opposite Pasir Gudang in Johor. Pasir Gudang is an industrial area in Johor and the Pasir Gudang port lies just opposite Punggol.
From the Wikipedia entry about Pasir Gudang: The main industries at Pasir Gudang are transportation and logistics, shipbuilding, petrochemicals and other heavy industries, and oil palm storage and distribution. It is also the site of one of two major power stations in the state of Johor, the Sultan Iskandar Power station.

From the Wikipedia entry about the Johor Port: Since its inception, Johor Port has been handling liquid bulk cargo, and provides facilities for two different types of liquid bulk cargo:
  • Edible oils, primarily for palm and soya bean oils: The port's network of pipes allows liquid bulk cargo to be conveyed directly to tank farms, significantly increasing the efficiency of loading and unloading operations.
  • Hazardous cargo, primarily for petroleum products.
See also the Johor Port website

Also nearby are ongoing works on the dam across the Punggol River.
These works include the installation of a temporary cofferdam; construction of gate house, spillway and dam. Works began in May 08 and will continue to May 09.

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