A spill of up to 50 million litres of oil is believed to have leaked from a marine plywoods export facility on the coast of WA.
Key points:The company that owns the plant said it was investigating the leak”There is no reason to believe the oil will spread”The spill occurred about four weeks agoThe company said it had been alerted to a possible oil spill and was working with emergency management to respond.
“The oil has been detected on a scale of one million litres per cubic metre and is expected to spread across the coast within 24 hours,” a spokesperson said.
“We are aware of the risk and are working with local authorities to assess the potential for an oil spill.”
There are no reports of health impacts and no damage has been reported.
“If the spill were to spread to the mainland, we will monitor the situation closely.”WA’s marine industry was the second largest in the country in 2015.
It produces up to 70 per cent of WA’s export capacity, with the state’s largest port, Port Stephens, the largest of the industry’s three major ports.
The company, Pacific Marine, is based in Perth, which is about 300 kilometres (186 miles) north of the leak site.
It has been working with the WA Department of Fisheries and Conservation (DFCC) and the Port Stephens Authority to determine the extent of the spill.
According to its website, the facility is owned by the Port of Perth and is used to ship and store a wide range of commodities from oil to liquefied natural gas.
“This is an extremely sensitive site and we are aware that we need to take every precaution to ensure it is safe,” the spokesperson said, adding the company would take further action if necessary.
The facility has been in operation for more than 40 years and was built in the 1960s and 70s, with many parts salvaged from shipwrecks and other damaged areas.
In 2014, the Port had reported a major oil spill at the facility and was looking for the owner of the vessel to assist in the investigation.
The port was contacted for comment but declined to comment.
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