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PIA Press Release
2007/04/04

Allied Shield recovers 9,000 liters of oil from Guimaras

Negros Occidental (4 April) -- "Mission accomplished!"

The recovery of 9 cubic meters or 9,000 liters of oil puts a closure to the oil spill clean up of the tragedy brought by the sinking of MV Solar I night of August 11 last year.

Mark Phibbs, Sonsub's Director for Special Operations said the actual operation took 21 days and no oil was released or spilled into the environment during the operation.

"Even though not much oil was recovered from the sunken Solar I, it is still good news for the people to have peace of mind," Phibbs said.

Sonsub is an Italian firm specializing in deepwater operations to retrieve any remaining oil from sunken vessel.

Presidential Assistant for Western Visayas reiterated during an interview that it is not the Philippine government spending for the retrieval operations rather it is the Protection and Indemnity Club, the insurer of Solar I.

Initially, the estimated cost of operation is $6 million but Phibbs said it would be much less since not much oil is left from the 2.1 million litres of oil carried by Solar I before it sank which shortens the operation.

"There is no more oil left in Solar I, either its gone thru the initial sinking, weeks that followed or thru the recovery operation we conducted," Phibbs said saying that the oil they recovered is only half of the shuttle cylinder they used to catch the oil and is now secured in one of the ISO tanks of PETRON.

"The fact that a minimal amount of oil has been found is not unexpected. Oil recovery experts have repeatedly said it is possible that Solar I is already empty. The operation confirms this," PETRON Health, Safety and Environment Manager Carlos Tan said.

The 52-man Allied Shield with two-Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) took three hours, the longest time they consumed to recovery the oil in one of the hatches.

Phibbs said that Solar I is stable with no sign of movement and will eventually become an artificial reef as fish life are coming on to the ship as shown in the last footage taken by the ROV cameras during the operation. (PIA/EAD) [top]

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