Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mekong River at risk from transport of dangerous goods: study

News Desk
Rasmei Kampuchea Daily
Publication Date : 18-10-2012

The Mekong River Commission (MRC) has released a comprehensive risk analysis of the transport of dangerous goods and issued recommendations to prevent oil spills, industrial waste and other emerging threats from navigation. 

Developed by the MRC Navigation Programme in Phnom Penh, the risk analysis finds that the management of operations of selected ports, terminals and vessels is not adequate to prevent pollution and ensure safe operations. 

Several terminals, ports and vessels in Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam are in poor structural condition and critical equipment is poorly maintained, increasing the risks of pollution, fire, explosions and other incidents.

At the same time, private operators are not investing in safety and environmental protection. Monitoring of facilities and operations by national government agencies is meanwhile limited.
The studies, posted on the MRC website last week, found that both inland water transport and the transport of dangerous goods are most developed in Cambodia and Vietnam. 

Cambodia has 12 major riverside petroleum terminals that are used to distribute gasoline, diesel, jet fuel and LPG imported from Viet Nam. Floating fuel terminals on the Tonle Sap are meanwhile used for refuelling. 

In Vietnam, there are several petroleum terminals, refuelling stations and tankers in the Mekong Delta. Domestic transport of dangerous goods is extensive. 

Several large and small tankers supply petroleum terminals and industries along the Bassac and Mekong Rivers.

In the Upper Mekong, the risk analysis found that exports of petroleum products from Thailand to China and Myanmar are growing. 

Private terminals discharge petroleum products to tanker barges from both countries, encouraging the development of Chiang Saen Commercial Port and private terminals.
Ferry crossings are used to transport dangerous goods between Thailand and Laos. Basic refuelling facilities also exist along this stretch of the Mekong River.

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