Mauritius tackles its second oil spill this year. This time on land.

Mauritius coast in 2019 Image: Wikipedia

Mauritius is cleaning up an oil spill in marshy land next to its main port, even as its shores remain affected by oil leakage from a shipwreck three months ago.

State-owned power company Central Electricity Board said it discovered on Oct. 30 that about 15 cubic meters (13 metric tons) of heavy oil had leaked through pipes connecting storage tanks near Port Louis, the Indian Ocean island nation’s capital. Mauritius burns heavy oil in power plants to produce about 40 per cent of its electricity, according to the International Energy Agency.

As of yesterday, CEB estimated that about 11 cubic meters of heavy oil has been removed. The remainder will be taken out over the next two weeks, according to Kinsley Lai, spokesman for the energy and public utilities ministry. The exact cause of the leak is being looked into, he said.

“There is no danger for the coastal maritime zone,” Lai said in a phone interview on Friday. “Tests done by the Environment Ministry show no evidence of oil contamination in the sea.” It is unclear how much harm the spill may have caused to the marsh or the cost to CEB of the clean up.

The land oil spill adds to the 1,000 metric tons of oil which leaked into the lagoons along the southeastern coast from a wrecked shipping vessel earlier this year, triggering the tourism-dependent economy’s biggest environmental disaster.

© 2020 Bloomberg L.P.