A floating crane has been dispatched to the scene today of the grounded cargo ship TS Taipei to offload containers from the wreck, including 8 of them containing hazardous materials, according to the Taiwan’s Environmental Protection Administration (EPA).
The removal of the 101 containers from the deck is expected to be completed before April 7, the organization said.
There are over 600 containers aboard the ship which is lying some 300 meters off the coast, while a number of the containers which fell from the wreck are scattered along the coast.
The owner of the grounded ship, TS Lines, said it would complete the first stage of removal of 200 tonns of fuel oil and diesel by April 1st.
EPA noted that both the cargo removal and debunkering activities can be conducted simultaneously as long as the weather conditions allow.
TS Lines has been criticized for its overdue response to the clean up as well as the country’s government, however, both the company and Taiwain’s Premier Chang San-cheng defended the response saying weather conditions hampered faster reaction.
The 2006-built containership TS Taipei, which ran aground off Shimen on March 10, started leaking oil after one of its fuel tanks was damaged.
Due to high waves at the site, the authorities could not conduct proper salvage works and the vessel’s hull broke in two, causing a major oil spill in the area.
Due to the extent of the oil pollution, the authorities launched oil clean-up operations at the coastline involving over 400 people. In addition, Resolve Marine and Nippon Salvage have been hired for the salvage operations.