Rayong leak payments going at full speed: SPRC

Rayong leak payments going at full speed: SPRC

Up to 10,000 could get help after oil spills

Pollution Control Department officials work to clean up the oil spill that washed ashore along a 2-kilometre stretch of Rayong’s Mae Ramphueng beach on Jan 29. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)
Pollution Control Department officials work to clean up the oil spill that washed ashore along a 2-kilometre stretch of Rayong’s Mae Ramphueng beach on Jan 29. (Photo: Pornprom Satrabhaya)

Almost 8,000 have signed up for compensation from Star Petroleum Refining Public Co Ltd (SPRC), owner of the underwater pipeline that leaked crude oil into the sea in Rayong province.

Jirasak Mahasukhon, the firm's human resources manager, said the company will speed up payments and the amounts will be based on the criteria used in an earlier oil leak case in 2013.

He said talks on compensation payments are likely to be concluded at the end of this month now that four working panels are in place.

The panels will discuss the impact and compensation with groups affected by the leakage.

According to Mr Jirasak, the company held talks with the fishing industry on Feb 10 and asked representatives to submit a list of people affected by the spill this week.

The assurance was given as SPRC on Wednesday met with the working panels and business operators to discuss the effects of two oil leakage incidents.

The first leak occurred Jan 25 this year, releasing some 47,000 litres of crude oil into the sea near Map Ta Phut in Rayong.

The second occurred on Feb 10 when another 5,000 litres were released.

So far about 7,600 people have signed up to receive compensation from the firm. The total number is expected to be close to 10,000.

Rayong deputy governor Yutthapol Ong-artittichai said the working panels comprise four categories: tourism and related businesses; fisheries; other professions affected by the incident; and illness resulting from the leakage.

He said provincial authorities will ensure those affected will receive compensation as soon as possible.

Seree Ruanla, a provincial fishery official, said on Wednesday that testing of seafood samples to detect the presence of heavy metals has shown levels remain within a safe range.

He added that an inspection of the coastal environment from Ban Chang to Ban Phe also revealed no signs of irregularities.

However, the provincial pollution control office reported high levels of petroleum-related pollutants in seawater samples taken from two of six locations along Mae Ramphueng beach.

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