GUANGZHOU: An agreement has been reached in a dispute over compensation for an oil spill in the Pearl River Delta in 2004.
The owners of the two ships involved in the collision will pay local authorities and affected people US$8.5 million, according to Guangzhou Maritime Court yesterday.
"The one-and-a-half year long case has come to successful conclusion," said Hu Houbo, a spokesman of the court. "Both sides are satisfied with the result."
The collision occurred on December 7, 2004, when the Panama-registered Hyundai Advance was sailing towards Singapore from Shenzhen Port and German-registered MSC Ilona was on her way from Shenzhen to Shanghai.
The collision broke the fuel storehouse of MSC Ilona, leaking more than 1,200 tons of heavy oil.
The spill, the biggest-ever in the river, was 9 nautical miles long and 600 metres wide, seriously damaging the oceanic environment and ecology in the waters off Guangdong Province.
Guangdong Maritime Bureau received US$4.132 million for its work cleaning up the spill; Guangdong Provincial Bureau of Ocean and Aquatic Products Industry received US$3.5 million for its efforts to restore fishing resources; and AIU Insurance Company Shanghai branch US$18,000 for damaged cargo.
The remaining US$850,000 went to 96 compensation claimants from Hainan Province, who were affected by the pollution.
The Hainan claimants withdrew their claim in July on the condition that the two bureaus lodged a compensation claim on their behalf.
Source: China Daily