IOPC head arriving in WV to explain Solar 1 moves

February 11, 2007

Visayan Daily Star
Feb. 10, 2007

THE director of the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, Willem J G Oosterveen of the Netherlands, will meet with Western Visayas officials on Feb. 19 to explain the steps that will be undertaken to remove the bunker fuel from the MT Solar 1 that sank off the coast of Guimaras in August last year.

This was disclosed by Presidential Adviser Rafael Coscolluela yesterday.

Sonsub, a Singapore-based salvaging contractor, is scheduled to siphon out the bunker fuel from MT Solar 1 staring March 8, Coscolluela said the siphoning is expected to be completed within March, and is expected to cost from $8 million to 10 million, he said. The MT Solar 1 was carrying 2.1 million tons of bunker fuel when it sank and an estimated 20 percent is believed to have been released into the water leaving 1.6 million tons still at the bottom of the sea, he said.

Oosterveen, who took over as IOPC director late last year, had been chairman of the 1971 Fund Executive Committee from 1995 to 1998 and of the 1992 Fund Assembly from 1999 to March 2005.

As Senior Legal Advisor to the Netherlands Ministry of Justice, he represented the Netherlands in numerous negotiations in a variety of international organizations from 1990, mainly concerning transport, environmental, liability and electronic commerce law. Since 1999, he has also been a part-time judge at the Court of Appeal in The Hague.

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