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Oil leaks from Sinokor boxship in South Korea

One of Sinokor Merchant Marine's container ships, the 1,050 TEU Niigata Trader, apparently leaked 1.6 kilolitres of marine fuel into the waters around South Korea's Yeosu port yesterday, after its fuel tank was damaged while it underwent repairs.

The ship, which plied the South Korea-China-Hong Kong-Vietnam route, arrived at repair yard Yosu Ocean on 19 September.

The Korea Coast Guard issued a statement saying it was investigating a 9,000 GT Panama-flagged container ship that leaked marine fuel while moored at Yosu Ocean, without naming the ship. However, S&P Global’s vessel-tracking data shows that Niigata Trader is the only vessel at Yosu Ocean that matches the aforementioned description.

The oil leak affected an area within a 5-6 km radius around Yosu Ocean, and the Coast Guard mobilised patrol ships, aircraft, and other equipment to prevent the spilled oil from spreading. The efforts took eight hours.

There were no reports of damage to marine life and other animals.

"It seems that the yard workers continued repairing the ship without knowing that the oil was leaked during the repair," said the Coast Guard, adding, "it is our policy to investigate the cause of the leak by talking to the vessel owner and captain.”

Martina Li
Asia Correspondent

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