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‘Solar 1 siphoning to start December’

October 5, 2006

BY CARLA GOMEZ
Visayan Daily Star, Oct. 5, 2006

THE removal of the bunker fuel from the sunken MT Solar 1 off the coast of Guimaras will begin in December according to a report given by National Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz, Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said yesterday.

International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds executive director Måns Jacobsson has endorsed the proposal to siphon out the bunker fuel from the sunken vessel that will be subject for formal approval by the IPOC executive committee at a meeting in London on Oct. 23, Coscolluela told the DAILY STAR.

The MT Solar one sank with 2.1 million litters of Petron bunker fuel on Aug. 11 and has caused an oil spill that has hit the coasts of Guimaras and Iloilo, and raised fears that it could also hit Negros Occidental.

About 5 liters of bunker fuel an hour is estimated to be currently leaking from the sink site.

The IOPC provides compensation for oil pollution damage caused by oil spills from tankers.

Coscolluela said a favorable decision is expected from the IOPC on the siphoning out of the fuel from MT Solar 1.

Meanwhile, Cruz, who chairs Task Force Guimaras, said engineering work is ongoing on how to siphon out the oil so that time is not lost, Coscolluela added.

After the IOPC decision, it is expected that it will take a month to mobilize a vessel to undertake the siphoning expected at the end of November or December, he said, and which could be completed in a month.

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