Manila: Petron Corporation has denied that any overloading occurred aboard the Solar 1 tanker, as reported by the Board of Marine Inquiry into last month's sinking. "As far as we are concerned the bunker fuel we loaded was within the ship's capacity in terms of (both) volume and weight," says a spokesperson for the Philippines' largest oil refiner. Company records show that the loaded volume was 2.19m litres compared to the ship's capacity of 2.24m litres (98%), while the weight was only 2,064 tonnes compared to the vessel's deadweight tonnage of 2,128 tonnes (97%). Petron further adds that its equipment used to measure outgoing products at its Bataan Refinery is state-of-the-art, checked regularly and accurate to 0.15%. However, Petron says that regardless of these facts it will continue its clean-up operation of the affected areas in Guimaras - which has already recovered 1,534 tonnes of debris from 124 km of shoreline - as well as distribution of relief cargoes and provision of medical assistance. [19/09/06]
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