Equipment being readied to offload oil from Solar 1

December 29, 2006

By Ronilo Ladrido Pamonag
The Philippine Star 12/29/2006

ILOILO CITY — An Italian firm is fabricating equipment to be used in offloading the remaining bunker fuel in the sunken tanker Solar 1 starting February next year.

The company, Sonsub, has been contracted to offload the oil from Solar 1, which sank off the coast of Guimaras last Aug. 11, triggering the country’s worst oil spill.

The 10 cargo holds of the sunken tanker are believed still containing over a million liters of oil. Petron had chartered the vessel to transport two million liters of oil to Zamboanga.

“They (Sonsub) are still fabricating equipment they would be using to offload the oil, and are waiting for the amihan season to end,” Petron spokesman Carlos Tan told The STAR yesterday.

Seas are usually rough during the amihan season. Marine experts said offloading oil is a delicate operation requiring fair sea conditions.

“The offloading operation is expected to begin middle of February next year. It will last for about 20 days. So far, there has been no change in the timetable,” Tan said.

“Sonsub is also talking to local tugboat operators for their services. As far as I know, Sonsub will be bringing only one of its ships from Singapore for the offloading. Then they will tap the services of local tugboat operators,” he added.

The Protection and Indemnity Club is footing the bill for the offloading operation, Tan said. But if the actual expenses exceed $6 million, the International Oil Pollution Compensation would shoulder the excess, he said.

Meanwhile, Tan clarified that Petron never claimed that the oil spill-affected areas have been fully cleaned up, saying it is up to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to make such a declaration.

He, however, said they are willing to conduct another round of cleanup operations if the DENR is not satisfied.

“If the DENR says, ‘Petron, this area is not thoroughly clean,’ then we would be willing to go back and clean it all over again,” he said.


Gee Caloy, you got scooped again by your own company’s press release huh? Try reading it on your Ligtas Guimaras site. Okay, since I’m feeling generous this Christmas, I’ll lend you a hand. Read your company’s mind-boggling cleanup claim right here.



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