Cyclone Michaung brought 36 hours of incessant rain starting from 3rd Dec’23, causing severe flooding in Chennai. Due to unprecedented flooding, the water level in the Buckingham canal increased causing reverse flow. This appears to have carried some oil from Chennai Petroleum Corporation (CPCL ) Refinery as well as from other industrial units in Manali area into Buckingham Canal when the flood levels receded.
An oil slick has since been formed near the Ennore creek. CPCL has the expertise and capability to deal with this and has taken the lead to remove this oil slick in coordination with State Authorities. There has been no pipeline leak or leakage from tanks in the refinery, and the refinery is under operation.
CPCL has mobilised 4 Agencies from Chennai, Mumbai and Paradip for clearing the Oil spill. Containment booms have been arranged on emergency basis. 7 nos. of containment booms of around 1430 mts have been installed in different areas of Creek and Canal. 6 nos. of Oil Skimmers have been deployed for the clean up. Oily waters collected in drums have been shifted to CPCL. Around 20,000 nos of absorbent pads have been used for removal of oil traces from the water surface.
Oil presence in the containment zone is now miniscule. Around 110 boats with 440 manpower have been deployed for intensive oil slick removal activities. Mechanized cleaning efforts have been successfully completed in 2 out of 5 shore areas. House cleaning of affected area with required manpower is being carried out. Hydro jetting machines and Wet and dry Vacuum Machines have also been employed to expedite the work. It is being ensured that all workmen involved in the clean-up activities are using requisite Personal Protective Equipment. All required Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE), including 600 gloves, 1000 masks, 750 gumboots, 500 Helmets, 550 Boiler Suits and 500 goggles have been distributed to the local workforce at the Ennore creek area. A dedicated team from CPCL is continuously monitoring all the above activities under the guidance of TNPCB and State Authorities. CPCL is working on war footing to clean-up and clear the areas in coordination with TNPCB & State authorities and the work is targeted to be completed in next 2-3 days.
In addition, CPCL is separately contributing to the overall relief within the State. Around 11000 bags of rice, 6000 bags of groceries, 3000 Sarees, 2000 Women’s Clothing, 2000 Dhotis, 2000 Bedsheets, 2000 Mosquito coils, 500 Sleeping mats and other essential items have been handed over to State nodal officer by way of relief.