Shoreline oil spill clean-up to be finished by May 15



TAIPEI — The efforts to clean up the oil spill along the New Taipei shoreline caused by a shattered container ship are expected to be completed by May 15, Mayor Eric Chu said Thursday.

Work to demolish the ship will be completed in August or September, Chu said.

He said the oil spill has been contained after heavy oil and fuel were pumped out of the T.S. Taipei.

The ship ran aground March 10 in waters off Shimen in New Taipei. Battered by rough seas, the stranded vessel began breaking apart March 24, leaking substantial amounts of oil into the sea, creating a heavily polluted area within a 500-meter radius of the ship and a slick stretching as far as 5 kilometers.

The mayor said some of the oil leaks might have floated to other areas, and authorities will clean them up as soon as possible once they are discovered.

A preliminary estimate indicates that the oil spill has caused losses of more than NT$90 million (US$2.78 million) to local fishermen, he said.