rss icon Subscribe
desktop mobile

MOL to Spend $9.4 Mln on Mauritius Oil Spill Clean-up

© ohrim / Adobe Stock

By Yuka Obayashi and Aaron Sheldrick

Japan's Mitsui OSK Lines Ltd said on Friday it would spend about 1 billion yen ($9.42 million) on measures to help Mauritius, including the clean-up of the island's mangrove forests and contribution to an environmental recovery fund.

A bulk carrier owned by Japan's Nagashiki Shipping and chartered by Mitsui OSK ran aground on a reef in Mauritius on July 25 and later began leaking oil, causing a marine ecological disaster around the Indian Ocean island.

"The owner of the ship takes primary legal responsibility, but we, as the charterer of the ship, have to bear a social responsibility and take proper measures, as this accident has significantly impacted the environment and people's life in Mauritius," Mitsui OSK President Junichiro Ikeda told a news conference on Friday.

Mitsui OSK plans to contribute about 800 million yen over several years to establish a Mauritius natural environment recovery fund and another 100 million yen to several local NGOs and funds established by public agencies such as Mauritius government and United Nations.

It will send more employees to Mauritius to replace some of the 13 staff already sent, it said in a statement earlier.

In addition, the shipping company plans to provide further support to local fishing and tourism industries, though details will be worked out later.

The Panamanian-flagged MV Wakashio began spilling fuel oil on Aug. 6, prompting the Mauritian government to announce an environmental emergency.

Media reports this week said initial investigation results by Panamanian authorities questioned the level of seamanship onboard the Wakashio.

The investigation has confirmed earlier reports that the crew were having a birthday party when the accident occurred and the Wakashio had diverted from its approved navigation plan, the reports said. Reuters has not been able to confirm the latest reports but earlier reported the birthday party.

The captain and another member of the crew have been arrested by Mauritius police. The crew were supplied by maritime services company Anglo-Eastern Group, and the Hong Kong-based company has not responded to several requests for comment by Reuters since Thursday.

"We have recognized a media report about the investigation by Panama's authority, but we would like to wait for the results of the inquiry by the Mauritius government," Nagashiki said through its public relations company, MTI Network.

Scientists say the full impact of the spill is still unfolding but that the damage could affect Mauritius and its tourism-dependent economy for decades.

Japan has told Mauritius it would offer support on an "unprecedented scale", Foreign Minister Toshimitsu Motegi said on Monday.

($1 = 106.1500 yen)

(Reporting by Yuka Obayashi and Aaron Sheldrick; Editing by Chang-Ran Kim and Gerry Doyle)

Sep 10, 2020


Bulk Carriers

Baltic Index Hits Over Two-month High

© Infinitum Produx / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index on Friday hit an over two-month high on higher vessel

BHP in Talks with for LNG Bunker Supply Contract

Illustration - Credit: masterskuz55/AdobeStock

BHP Group is in talks with three companies for the supply of liquefied natural gas (LNG) to fuel

Baltic Index Posts Weekly Gain

© Alexey Lesik / Adobe Stock

The Baltic Exchange's main sea freight index inched up on Friday helped by an uptick in panamax


Owner of Fire-hit Tanker to Pay $1.8 Mln for Sri Lanka's Help

(Photo: Sri Lanka Air Force)

The owners the New Diamond supertanker which caught fire with a cargo of two million barrels of

US Coast Guard Cutter Docks in Japan After Shipboard Fire

Firefighting teams combat flames on board the Coast Guard cutter Waesche in the Western Pacific Ocean. (Coast Guard photo by Aidan Cooney)

A fire-stricken U.S. Coast Guard cutter docked in Yokosuka, Japan Tuesday for inspection and

Russian Navy Vessel Collides with Container Ship in Danish Waters

Ice Rose - Credit: pinko palinko - MarineTraffic

A Russian navy vessel collided with a Swiss-owned container ship in Danish waters on Wednesday

Maritime Apps