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MANILA, Philippines – The siphoning operations or extraction of the remaining oil spill from the sunken MT Princess Empress in Oriental Mindoro will be completed by June 19, according to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
“Hopefully, we can beat the target or we can beat the deadline by June 19 na matapos na iyong oil spill. Nakita ko kasi iyong mga video niya na iaakyat na iyong mga langis,” PCG spokesperson Rear Admiral Armand Balilo said in a press release issued by the Presidential Communications Office (PCO) on Saturday, June 10.
“May hose na nakakabit at dinadala na doon sa mga tangke doon sa loob ng barko at unti-unti nang nasisipsip at hopefully, by June 19, ay tapos na iyong siphoning operations,” Balilo added.
(Hopefully, we can beat the target, or we can beat the June 19 deadline for the oil spill to be over. I saw the videos of the oil extraction. The oil is extracted through a hose and brought to the tank inside the ship. The extraction is gradual, and hopefully, by June 19, the siphoning operations will be completed.)
Balilo explained that the oil no longer spreads despite the continued seepage from other tanks. He said the oil goes into catch cans, and once collected, the oil goes up to the vessel’s tank used in the siphoning operations.
Of MT Princess Empress’ eight tankers, two still contain a significant amount of oil, Balilo noted. The other compartments have already been processed, so authorities are targeting the remaining two compartments for extraction.
The Philippine government said in late May that the extraction of the remaining oil spill may take up to 30 days – or until late June.
The PCG spokesperson said the extraction began on May 29 with the help of a Dynamic Support Vessel (DSV) Fire Opal chartered by Malayan Towage and Salvage Corporation (MTSC). The DSV arrived in the country on May 27.
The PCO said on Saturday that the MTSC used remotely operated vehicles (ROV) to open the cargo oil tanks from the sunken ship. The government said the ROVs allow “precise and controlled access to the submerged compartments.”
It has been 100 days since MT Princess Empress left the private port SL Harbor Terminal in Limay, Bataan, carrying 800,00 liters of industrial fuel oil on February 28.
After encountering big waves and strong winds, it capsized and sank off the coast of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro, causing an oil spill that has affected communities in at least 20 cities and municipalities in Oriental Mindoro, Batangas, Palawan, and Antique. – Rappler.com
Read more from Rappler’s coverage of the Oriental Mindoro oil spill:
- ‘A no-brainer’: Marcos gov’t urged to declare Verde Island Passage off-limits to certain ships
- Marine life has ways to weather an oil spill. Can we keep up?
- Why it’s important to contain the Oriental Mindoro oil spill ASAP
- After oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, uncertain future grips fishing community
- PANOORIN: Ano ang health risks ng exposure sa oil spills?
- Environmental damage from oil spill may reach P7 billion – DENR chief
- Oil spill exposes a Coast Guard in dire need of modernization
- ‘Pagod na po kami’: Pola mayor wants MT Princess Empress ship owner sued
- Oil siphoning to start in June, but is there ‘black oil’ still left in Princess Empress?
- PH gov’t to shoulder rehab costs as oil spill insurance, aid won’t be enough – DOJ official