Philippine Oil Spill Barge Sinks
A barge carrying hundreds of tonnes of debris from last August's devastating oil spill in the Philippines has sunk. BBC reported that the barge was being towed to a processing plant when it sank in rough seas, raising fears of another environmental crisis. The barge was being towed to a processing plant when it sank in rough seas, raising fears of another environmental crisis. Officials say the crew has been rescued, and that they are investigating the incident. The Solar 1, was carrying two million litrer of oil when it sank near the Guimaras island on 11 August. The spill affected 40,000 people and hundreds of miles of coastline. The barge, hired by oil refiner Petron, was carrying sludge from the site where the Solar 1 sank.
Petron to Bring in Gear to Locate Tanker
Petron Corp. is negotiating with a Singaporean company to bring in advanced technology that would determine the exact location of the oil tanker that sank off Guimaras island and siphon off the remaining bunker oil still in the vessel. Lori Tan of the World Wide Fund said Petron, which chartered the ill-fated M/T Solar I, will bring in deep-sea contractors who will use a side scan zoner to determine the wreck’s actual location on the seabed, a remotely piloted submersible to find the leak, and hot tap to siphon the oil that is still contained in the tanker’s hold. Environment Secretary Angelo Reyes and Tan believe the cleanup might take two years if all the needed technology and assistance arrive soon.
DoTC Forms Team to Conduct Probe on Oil Spill
On recommendations of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) commandant Vice Admiral Arthur N. Gosingan, Transportation and Communications Secretary Leandro P. Mendoza formed yesterday a national board of marine inquiry (BMI) to conduct a thorough fact-finding investigation on the oil spill off Guimaras Island in Western Visayas — so far the biggest ever reported environmental disaster in the country. In a press conference held at the PCG headquarters in Port Area, Manila, Gosingan said the creation of the national BMI elevated from a special board of marine inquiry (SBMI) the status of the probe body. Mendoza named Coast Guard deputy commandant Rear Admiral Danilo A. Abinoja as the national BMI chairman.
More Oil Coming from Sunken Tanker
The Solar 1 tanker that sank off Guimaras Island is leaking more bunker fuel, thus adding to the spill that has already devastated the marine environment and affected coastal communities in the island and nearby provinces of Iloilo and Negros Occidental. The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said the leakage started Monday night. According to official estimates, the tanker has already leaked 50,000 gallons of fuel and still has 450,000 gallons on several tanks on board, which could explode due to seawater corrosion. (Sunnex)
Shipowners Balk at Double-hull Tankers Cost
According to Inq7.net, Philippine’s shipowners are asking for more time to replace their single-hull tankers with double-hull vessels because the capital and maintenance costs for the hardier vessels are higher. Single hull tankers, which are being phased out around the world, have become the subject of revived scrutiny in the country following the August 11 sinking of the weather-beaten MT Solar I off Guimaras Island. The sunken vessel unleashed a massive oil spill. Stakeholders in the shipping industry wanted the ban on single-hull vessels implemented in 2015. While some expect the ban to be enforced as early as 2008, others believe that more time will be required since shipowners are finding the transition from single-hull to double-hull too costly.