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Bing snubs Lito on oil retrieval operation

March 10, 2007

By Antonieta B. Lopez
SunStar Bacolod
Mar. 10, 2007

RETRIEVAL operations on the remaining oil of sunken vessel Solar 1 will begin next week but Presidential Adviser Rafael Coscolluela, who heads Task Force SOS (Solar 1 Spill) is yet to brief Bacolod Mayor Evelio Leonardia with the activities.

This is considering that the oil recovery ship Allied Shield will be berthing at the Bredco Port.

Coscolluela said he tried to contact the mayor to inform him of the operation but they cannot get through.

He also said that he tried to coordinate with the Mayor’s Office but to no avail. “I called him but my calls were unanswered,” added Coscolluela.

Governor Joseph Marañon, on the other hand, assigned Provincial Disaster Management Team chief Vicran Defante to represent the Provincial Government.

Joe Nichols, deputy director of International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, said Allied Shield is expected to arrive this weekend to begin retrieval of any remaining oil of Solar 1 that sank in 640 meters south of Guimaras on August 11 last year. It was carrying 2,000 tons of fuel oil when it sank.

Allied Shield, which will be used by Italian firm Sonsub for its deepwater oil retrieval operations, has left Singapore early for the Philippines but was delayed because of bad weather. It was earlier scheduled to arrive on March 14.

Sonsub was contracted by the Protection and Indemnity Club, insurer of Solar 1.

Once the ship arrives, it will conduct a routine housekeeping and will immediately start retrieval operations.

The operation will be supervised by Mark Phibbs of Sonsub who earlier said that two remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) will be deployed to work on Solar 1.

During the operation, the ROVs will assist in drilling two holes in each tank.

Water will be allowed to flow into one hole to displace any remaining oil, which would flow from the second hole. Both holes will have fail-safe valves, Phibbs said.

He said a shuttle container will be placed on top of the valve to capture the oil and will then be brought to 30 meters under the surface where submersible pumps will transfer the oil to ISO tanks on Allied Shield. Recovered oil will be turned over to Petron, which will undertake its final disposal.

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You people just can’t drop your political shit to help out the oil spill victims, can you?

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