Belfast Telegraph

Ulster engineering company helps to contain Thai oil spill

By Clare Weir

Products made by a Co Antrim company are playing a major role in the clean-up of a devastating oil spill in Thailand.

A pipeline operated by PTT Global Chemical leaked on Saturday spilling an estimated 50,000 litres of oil.

Hundreds of people, including navy personnel, environment officials and villagers are now battling to clean the spill from popular tourist beaches, a huge part of the Thai economy, and wildlife havens.

One of the affected areas is Samet, 140 miles south-east of the capital Bangkok, where holiday-makers were forced to flee.

Fast Engineering Ltd, established in 1981 by Seamus Connolly, makes FASTANK, a liquid storage container for use in a number of sectors, including oil and chemical spill clean-ups, firefighting, military, fish-farming and animal rescue. The company, based in Antrim, exports to more than 80 countries throughout the world.

Mr Connolly said that some of the equipment he has seen in pictures and videos beamed across the globe via international news channels is decades old.

He added: "We receive news flashes when an oil spill takes place and we were pleasantly surprised to see some of our products involved in the clean-up.

"Looking at some of the tanks, they are about 20 years old, which proves how durable they are.

"Our products are used by many different sectors and have been used in similar spills all over the world.

"It could be either the Thai army or the oil company itself who was the client and, sadly, there is still a need for our products whenever a disaster like this occurs."

Belfast Telegraph