02 September 2010

NEA comments on flaring at Bukom

The emission of dark smoke from a chimney is against the law outside agreed limitations, says the National Environment Agency (NEA) -- according to today's Straits Times article about flaring on Pulau Bukom.
Flaring on Pulau Bukom seen from Pulau Hantu
Flaring on Pulau Bukom, near living reefs at Pulau Hantu and
other areas of rich marine biodiversity including Cyrene Reef.
Other insights from the article: Shell says it is within the limitations but an NEA spokesman said: 'We are working with Shell to understand and stem this unusual spate of smoke emissions from the flare stacks.'

'Black smoke is emitted by a flare when there is insufficient steam to burn off the hydrocarbons in a smokeless manner. It is the responsibility of the plant operator to ensure that sufficient steam is produced to keep the flare smoke-free,' said the NEA spokesman. The steam provides the oxygen to allow the hydrocarbons to burn without smoke.

NEA says the flare at Pulau Bukom has 'not impacted the air quality on the main island of Singapore so far, and there is no cause for concern'.

Full article on the wildsingapore news blog.

I have noticed that the flaring at Bukom often goes on at night. At sunrise, the flaring ends but a huge cloud of emissions is often left hanging over the site.
Flaring at petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom
Huge 'cloud' over Bukom with flaring,
just before sunrise, Jun 2010.

The Straits Times article also notes that: "The Straits Times' citizen journalism website Stomp has also been receiving regular posts about the flare since March."

The most recent posting to Stomp about flaring on Bukom was shared a few days ago, on 30 Aug. Skyline of west Singapore ruined by huge pollution clouds with the comment "This oil refinery in the west of Singapore which started operations last year has been spewing a lot of pollution. Don't we have pollution control measures that prohibits this?" and this accompanying photo.

Here's more Stomp posts and photos on flaring with extracts of some comments.
There are even YouTube videos about the flaring

Pulau Bukom Petrochem Flare by day - View from Southern Ridges

Pulau Bukom Petrochem Flare at Night - View from River Valley

More links


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