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PIA Press Release
2006/10/05

Removal of oil from Solar I starts December

Quezon City (5 October) -- Operations to remove the remaining bunker fuel from the sunken MT Solar I off the coast of Guimaras is scheduled to begin in December.

Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela said Defense Secretary Avelino Cruz Jr. has submitted a report saying the December timetable was set after International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds (IOPC) executive director Måns Jacobsson endorsed the proposal to siphon out the bunker fuel still in the sunken vessel.

The London-based IOPC provides compensation for pollution damage caused by oil spills from tankers.

Coscolluela said a favorable decision is expected from the IOPC on the siphoning out of the fuel from MT Solar 1.

He said Cruz, who chairs Task Force Guimaras, has also reported that engineering work was under way to determine how to siphon out the oil so that time would not be lost when the go signal is given.

After the IOPC decision, it is expected that it will take a month to mobilize a vessel to undertake the siphoning, which Coscolluela said would be accomplished by the end of November or in early December.

The removal operation could take a month to complete, Coscolluela added. (PIA) [top]

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