A major oil spillage was reported last night at the AKSA Power Plant in Kalecik. The spillage was the result of refuelling accident which occurred around 2am. Oil was being offloaded from an oil tanker to the electricity generating plant when pressure built up in a pipe which subsequently burst. The Minister for Tourism and the Environment, Mehmet Harmanci, has confirmed that oil was discharged from the burst pipe for approximately 10 minutes, releasing over 100 tonnes of oil into the sea, covering an area of 5km.
The AKSA Power Plant Manager, Murat Captug, made a statement in a live TV broadcast advising that technical staff were dealing with the spillage and specialist equipment would be shipped over from Mersin, Turkey tomorrow. This will enable them to place barriers around the oil leak and commence mechanical clearing of oil from the surface of the water. It is expected that the clean up will take around a week.
This is the second major oil leak in four months. In a remarkably similar incident back in March, an oil tanker leaked 2 tonnes of diesel fuel into the sea during refuelling to an Alpet fuel depot at Kalecik. There was additional concern at the time as the government had approved plans to build further fuel storage facilities at Kalecik and the Karpaz. However, the current government, under the interim leadership of PM Sibel Siber, has revoked that decision and has set an active objective to increase measures to protect the environment in North Cyprus.Click to view map of the area, highlighting Kalecik