Shell commissions double-hulled oil tanker

December 15, 2006

• Offers additional protection against crude spills

By Paul A. Isla
Reporter, BusinessMirror
Dec. 15, 2006

PILIPINAS Shell Petroleum Corp. commissioned one of the country’s first double-hulled oil tankers Thursday, more than a year before crude carriers are required to minimize oil spill risks by installing additional hulls.

In a ceremony at the South Harbor, Shell country chairman Edgar O. Chua and Energy Secretary Raphael P.M. Lotilla witnessed the blessing and commissioning of M/T Petro Cara, one of the first vessels in the country which minimizes the risk of oil spills and pollution during collision and grounding accidents.

Worth $24-million, the newly-constructed chemical tanker is owned by Transoil Corp., managed by Translift Ship Management Inc., and chartered by Shell. The oil company expects to charter four more such ships over the next two years.

“We congratulate Transoil for being a prime move in complying with the internationally accepted standards for transporting heavy grade oils,” said Shell country chairman Edgar O. Chua.

For his part, Lotilla welcomed the commissioning of the tanker, in view of President Arroyo’s directives to cut the double-hull deadline short to 2008. Under an international convention, companies transporting crude and other similar chemicals are required to use double-hulled ships by 2015.

According to Lotilla, this would help prevent the recurrence of the oil spills such as the one which happened in Guimaras last August.

Meanwhile, Chua noted that the archipelagic geography of the Philippines presents a unique operational challenge because of the frequency of waterborne movements of petroleum products.


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