Dalian oil supply operations resume as spill cleanup continues

22:00, July 22, 2010      

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China is rushing to resume oil supply operations at Dalian's Xingang Harbor as oil spill cleanup operations continue six days after two pipelines exploded and spewed crude oil into the sea.

Authorities have made all-out efforts to contain the oil spill, mobilizing hundreds of fishing boats, specialized cleaning vessels, "oil-eating" bacteria and volunteers to reduce the environmental impact of the spill. Many volunteers are using their hands to clean up the oil in the water and the beaches.

Dalian is one of China's major oil production and distribution hubs. It also has popular beaches, many of which were closed after crude washed up on them.

The Shenyang Evening Post, a newspaper based in the provincial capital of Shenyang, reported Thursday oil had penetrated at least 30 centimeters into the sand at Poshiwan Beach.

The newspaper also reported three major aquaculture areas off the Dalian coast are under threat.

Clean-up workers are racing to clear the oil as quickly as possible.

Firefighter Zhang Liang, 25, drowned Tuesday after a wave slammed into him as he worked to clean a boat pump.

Amid the cleanup efforts, an oil tanker stopped at the Dalian Xingang Port Thursday, the first tanker to do so since the explosion of the pipelines.

The tanker is scheduled to take on 35,000 tonnes of oil. Loading operations have yet to begin.

Meanwhile, the oil pipeline connecting Dalian Xingang Port and Dalian Petrochemicals that exploded has been repaired and has resumed operations.

By midday Wednesday, Dalian Petrochemicals had received 66,000 tonnes of crude oil through the pipeline, which is carrying oil at a rate of 45,000 tonnes per day.

Source: Xinhua


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