Oil tanker carrying 1 million barrels of oil on fire off China coast - Greenpeace response

Press release - 2018-01-08
Beijing, 8 January 2018 - In response to the collision of the Sanchi oil tanker and the cargo ship CF Crystal in the East China Sea on Sunday, Greenpeace expresses concern about the safety of the 32 missing crew members.

Greenpeace East Asia campaigner, Rashid Kang, said:

“First and foremost, Greenpeace hopes that the search and rescue operations of the Chinese coast guard go smoothly and the 32 missing crew will be found.”

Greenpeace is also concerned about the potential environmental damage that could be caused by the 1 million barrels of crude oil on board.  

“We are worried about the potential environmental impact that could be caused by leakage from the vessel that was holding almost 42 million gallons of condensate oil. A clean up procedure is already underway and we will be monitoring its progress,” said Rashid Kang.

A Reuters report on Monday morning suggested that the collision has the potential to cause the worst such oil spill since the ABT Summer spill off the Angolan coast in 1991.[1]

Chinese coast guards have already sent four rescue ships and three oil spill cleaning boats to the site.

The collision occurred 160 nautical miles of the Chinese coast. The Panamanian flagged vessel, The Sanchi, is transporting 136,000 tons of condensate oil, equivalent to 1 million barrels, purchased by Korean joint venture Hanhwa Total from Iran to the port of Daesan in South Korea.[2]

Notes to Editor:

[1] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-oil/iranian-oil-tanker-still-ablaze-as-rescuers-search-for-missing-mariners-idUSKBN1EX00J

[2] https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-shipping-accident-oil/iranian-oil-tanker-still-ablaze-as-rescuers-search-for-missing-mariners-idUSKBN1EX00J

Media contact:

Tom Baxter, International Communications Officer, Greenpeace East Asia, Beijing | +86 156 5241 1229 |

Greenpeace International Press Desk, , phone: +31 (0) 20 718 2470 (available 24 hours)

* This press release was edited on 9 January 2018 to clarify that the type of oil contained on the Sanchi is condensate oil * 

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