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Petron oil spill: the gift that keeps on giving

September 17, 2006

‘Oil spill cleanup to last till Christmas’

SIPHONING the remaining oil from the sunken M/T Solar 1 off Guimaras province could last until Christmas or longer, ANC reported Sunday.

The government’s Task Force Solar 1 said that once it chooses a salvage company for the cleanup, it could take a month to set up the siphoning operation.

Another two months might be used to recover bunker oil from the sunken tanker.

Among the three companies being considered, the Coast Guard is said to be leaning toward Norway’s Framo Engineering AS because of the company’s long track record.

The operation is estimated to cost up to $8 million (P401.78 million).

The Solar 1 sank after encountering bad weather while sailing for Zamboanga City on August 11. It had a cargo of two million liters of bunker fuel.

The oil spill resulted in the country’s worst maritime environmental tragedy. President Arroyo had declared it a national calamity after the slick destroyed marine ecosystems and the livelihood of Guimaras residents.

An inquiry set up to probe the disaster, meanwhile, found the vessel’s captain and its owner liable for failing to check the vessel’s seaworthiness. Petron Corporation, the company that chartered the tanker, was also found liable for overloading the vessel.

(From ABS-CBN News, Sept. 17, 2006.)

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