January 29, 2018 / 11:23 AM / 4 months ago

China plans first lab on ocean oil spill cleaning: media

BEIJING (Reuters) - China’s Ministry of Transport is planning to establish a laboratory specializing in treating oil spills at sea, the first of its kind in the country, local media Science and Technology Daily reported on Sunday.

Oil that leaked from a small oil tanker that sank on September 10, is seen on a beach on Salamina island, Greece, September 12, 2017. REUTERS/Giorgos Moutafis

China is spending some 200 million yuan a year on researches for emergency treatment of oil spills but the technological expertise has not been widely applied because of lack of such a lab, the report said.

The laboratory is planned in northern port city of Tianjin, off the Bohai Bay, with an initial investment 400 million yuan ($63 million). The investment will go to research projects on oceanic ecological protection and safety issues for sea-borne transportation.

To date, only the United States and France have laboratories capable of undertaking tests and inspections required in treating ocean oil spills, the report said.

The Iranian oil tanker Sanchi collided with a dry cargo vessel early this month about 160 nautical miles off China’s east coast, in the world’s worst oil tanker disaster for decades.

Reporting by Chen Aizhu; Editing by Alison Williams

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