A multi-purpose, sea-cleaning vessel is next month to begin operating in the Port of Keelung to remove liquid and solid waste, the Taiwan International Port Corp (TIAC) said on Friday last week.
The state-run port company said that it spent NT$19.11 million (US$652,775) on the vessel, which was delivered from France in June, to improve its ability to keep the port’s waters clean.
Marine pollution at the port mainly comes from the sewage system, TIAC said.
TIAC dispatches personnel twice a day to scoop up marine waste, with more than 400kg collected on some days, it said.
The new ship is to replace those operations, it said.
With the collection of plastic, hydrocarbons, jellyfish, plants, sewage and other floating waste, the daily processing volume would increase to between 500kg and 800kg, it said.
The vessel has dual-flow technology that allows clean water to be evacuated as water polluted with hydrocarbons is stored, it said.
“Suppose there is an oil spill. The vessel’s cleaning rate of 105m3 per hour would dramatically reduce the use of absorbent cotton and lower the effects on the marine ecosystem,” TIAC chief secretary for the Port of Keelung Chen Shih-hung (陳世鴻) said.
The vessel would also support essential services at the port, including towing, firefighting, dock cleaning, and transporting equipment and personnel, Chen said.
TIAC is testing the vessel’s functions and training personnel to operate it from next month, he said.
TIAC plans to import a second multi-service, sea-cleaning vessel next year to replace ships used by port maintenance personnel, Chen said.
Like garbage trucks, they would broadcast music to warn other vessels that they need to avoid interfering with their operations, Chen added.
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