It may take time to address issue of sunken tanker

September 7, 2006

The Philippine Star 09/07/2006

A key official of the Petron Corp. yesterday doused cold water on those advocating for a speedy solution on what to do with the sunken MT Solar I amid the demands of provincial officials of Negros Occidental that it be salvaged as soon as possible.

Jose Campos and R. del Rosario pointed out to local mediamen in a press conference at the L’Fisher Hotel that the recommendations of the Fakada Salvage Company still has to be submitted to Petron and the Coast Guard.

This, in turn, will have to be processed by the insurance firm and must get the nod of the Philippine government. In short, even a timeframe of three months may be too early, pointed out the Petron officials.

Solar I, it was pointed out, was insured with a foreign firm for about $30 million.

More important is that the cargo was insured by P and I Insurance of Luxembourg for $300 million, they added.

Shensie Maru’s robotic survey equipment reportedly found the sunken tanker still intact and listing to the right in the sea bottom of Guimaras Strait, 640 meters below.

One compartment was found emptied of its content. The nine others are still full, and the seepage from one of the compartments was partially closed by tightening the valves of the ship.

Actually, three primary solutions to the Solar I problem are often discussed. They include siphoning off the bunker fuel through underwater hoses, re-floating of the tanker, and cementing it to the sea bottom with special quick-drying cement.

Petron officials, however, did not rule out the possibility that the salvage company may have other options.

Jerry Ledesma, an ecologist and head of the Negros Forest Foundation, pointed out that the danger of reposing decisions only on the expert opinion of one firm.

(Click Rolly for the rest of the column, Sept. 7, 2006.)


One comment

  1. […] According to reports, the tanker is insured by a foreign firm, which still has to submit its recommendations to the Philippine government. “Even a timeframe of three months may be too early,” Petron officials earlier said. […]

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