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Jakarta Post

Pertamina makes headway in cleaning Balikpapan spill

  • Novi Adri

    The Jakarta Post

Balikpapan   /   Fri, April 6, 2018   /   11:51 am
Pertamina makes headway in cleaning Balikpapan spill Manual labor: A police officer collects oil by hand on April 2 from the polluted waters off Banua Patra Beach in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan. (Antara/Sheravim)

On the fifth day after Saturday's oil spill in Balikpapan Bay, the pollution has begun to clear, the waters off East Kalimantan's Semayang Port returning to a deep green with no visible oil slicks.

“We dispatched no less than 1,000 people to clean the oil spill. We also had the support of volunteers from various civil society groups, students, community members and environmental activists,” Yudi Nugrahastate, Kalimantan regional manager of social responsibility and communications at state oil and gas company Pertamina, said  on Thursday.

Yudi added that Pertamina had also deployed 15 vessels to tackle the polluted area in four predetermined zones. The first zone stretches from Pertamina's Jetty 1 to Kampung Baru. The second zone covers the waters off Semayang Port, while the third covers Monpera Beach, and the fourth covers Balikpapan Bay.

He said Pertamina had utilized a variety of techniques and equipment for cleaning the oil spill, from vacuum trucks, to oil booms and to oil spill dispersant (OSD). “To clean the waters of the beach, we used oil skimmers and tug boats,” Yudi added.

The residents of Kampung Atas Air Margasari have also helped by collecting thousands of liters of oil by hand, which Pertamina’s clean-up teams picked up for hazardous and toxic waste treatment.

Read also: Balikpapan declares emergency status after oil spill

“We have been cleaning up the spill since Monday afternoon, when the Balikpapan administration declared emergency status,” said Ride, the head of Margasari subdistrict. (ebf)