Marina defers ban on single-hull tankers

March 7, 2008

Manila Standard Today
March 7, 2008

The Philippines’ maritime regulator has extended the deadline to ban single-hull oil tankers from its waters to April 30 from April 1 to give charterers more time to switch to vessels fitted with two hulls.

The Maritime Industry Authority has issued a circular prohibiting single-hull ships from calling at Philippine ports from April 30, Transportation Undersecretary Len Bautista said in a mobile phone message yesterday. In January, Bautista said single-hull vessels carrying crude oil and marine fuel won’t be allowed to dock at ports from April 1, two years earlier than planned.

The extension came after “some operators asked for an allowance,” Bautista said. “It’s also to allow oil companies to have better rates in negotiating vessels,” he said, adding the extension still falls within the directive of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo to ban the one-hull tankers by April.

The Philippines decided to ban single-hull tankers after the worst oil spill in the country’s history and a separate leak in South Korea. Asia is the biggest market for single-hull supertankers, Citigroup Global Markets Inc. said in a December report.

The single-hull crude oil supertanker Hebei Spirit caused the worst spill in South Korea’s history in December after it was struck by a crane. In August 2006, the tanker Solar 1 leaked 2.19 million liters of marine fuel, killing marine life and fouling the coastline of the Philippines’ Guimaras islands.

The Philippines has yet to schedule a ban on single-hull tankers that ship gasoline, jet fuel and other refined petroleum products, Bautista said.

(Click Marina defers for the rest.)


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