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Typhoon delay to Solar 1 oil removal

Typhoon delay to Solar 1 oil removal

Manila: Retrieval of the remaining oil from the sunken bunker tanker Solar 1 may not begin until December or January according to reports from the Philippines.
Defense secretary and Task Force Guimaras head Avelino Cruz has told a press conference that forecast typhoons would delay the operation to siphon oil from the tanker which is lying in 900 metres of water off Guimaras after sinking in bad weather in August. Japanese experts on the scene have confirmed that oil is still leaking out of the vessel, but in small quantities estimated at five litres an hour which is instantly dispersing.
The 988 tonne Solar 1 was carrying 2m litres of bunker fuel from an oil refinery in northern Bataan province to Zamboanga peninsula when it sank. It is not known how much oil remains on board, but authorities estimated that 350,000 litres of oil escaped in the immediate aftermath of the sinking polluting 300 kilometres of coastline in Guimaras, 500 kilometres south east of Manila.
Cruz said approval for the International Oil Pollution Compensation fund to shoulder the cost of the siphoning operation was "99.9% certain". At the time of the accident, the government was criticised for a slow reaction to the disaster and it emerged from an investigation by the Philippines marine authority that the master of the Solar 1, owned by Sunshine Maritime Development, did not have the correct certificates for oil tanker operation. The vessel was on charter to Petron Corp. (19/10/06)

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