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Singapore: Straits Marine Services starts vessel sanitisation operations on bunker tanker

17 Jun 2020

Singapore-based ship management services provider Straits Marine Services Pte Ltd (SMS) on Thursday (11 June) performed vessel sanitisation operations on the 4,854 dwt bunker tanker Omura following the recent launch of its vessel disinfecting service.

Manifold Times was onboard the vessel with Capt Tan, Managing Director at SMS, and Ang, among Directors of local disinfection and sanitisation services company Ecom Solution Pte Ltd, to learn about the basics of ship disinfecting operations.

Ang, who said Ecom has been in operation since 2013, gave a summary of the processes involved in sanitising a ship.

“Vessels, such as bunker tankers, have many compartments linked by air ventilation ducts; these present a challenge to the shipowner in maintaining an environment free of contaminants such as virus, bacterial and mould,” he explains.

“As we already know now, SARS-CoV-2 which causes COVID-19 belongs to a group of envelope virus [which include the highly contagious flu virus] that can stay effective for extended periods on surfaces” he notes.

“Hence, we have to focus on treating places which are generally enclosed with frequent touch surfaces such as the bridge or crew accommodation areas. The complete disinfection process can be completed in less than an afternoon, depending on the size of the ship.”

Ecom Solution employed the use of a disinfectant on the vessel’s bridge, passageways, kitchen, mess and crew accommodation area during the operation. The chemical used was a recommended disinfectant which is approved by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA).

According to Ang, there are other solutions that could improve the air quality inside the vessel that can be deployed easily to provide a 24/7 coverage.

SMS is a subsidiary and ship manager for Malaysia-listed bunker player, port operator and investment firm Straits Inter Logistics Berhad (SILB) which owns 11 bunker tankers and a bulk carrier.

“Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, and being the ship manager of a fleet of 12 vessels, one of our major concerns is the safety of our crew and the shore personnel coming onboard the vessel,” said Capt Tan of SMS.

“We have searched around the marine industry and was unable to find any marine specified company providing sanitisation services. Companies engaged in providing cleaning and disinfecting services were land-based and often carry out disinfection services for child care centers, offices and schools.

“Hence, by introducing this service into our company we will be able to provide specified cleaning and disinfecting solutions to our fleet and to the marine industry.”

Related: Straits Marine Services introduces COVID-19 ship sanitisation service for maritime sector


Photo credit: Manifold Times
Published: 17 June, 2020

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