New Asia-Pacific oil spill response centre opens in Loyang

Oil spill incidents in the Asia-Pacific can now be more effectively tackled with the opening on Thursday of a new base in Loyang by the global cooperative Oil Spill Response Limited (OSRL).

The base is close to both Seletar and Changi Airports, where its response aircraft and air logistics support bases are, an advantage over its previous location in Jurong. It also has in its arsenal new deep sea well-capping technology intended to swiftly end damaging underwater well blowouts as seen in British Petroleum's Deepwater Horizon drilling rig oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

The new technology will be able to address spills at the majority of known underwater wells in the region. It can be deployed at depths of up to three kilometres.

On the base's expanded 9,500 sqm premises there is an in-house training facility and offices for 100 staff member.

OSRL's chief executive Robert Limb said that the cooperative's continued choice of Singapore as a regional base was "very clear".

He said:"It is perfectly positioned in the centre of the region...the Straits of Singapore are amongst the busiest waterways with more than sixty fully-laden tankers passing by and mooring here every day on their journey to other regions in the Asia-Pacific."

He added that despite the number of major oil spills worldwide falling over the past 25 years, the key was still to be prepared at all times.