More oil spill debris shipped to Mindanao cement plant

More oil spill debris shipped to Mindanao cement plant
Published: 16 October 2006

Two barges and a ship left Guimaras over the weekend with 2050t of oil-soaked debris to be delivered to a factory in Mindanao which will use the waste as fuel and raw material for cement production, officials said Monday.

The shipment brings to 3600t the amount of sludge gathered off the coast and beaches of the island province, which has been struck hard by the oil spill triggered by the August 11 sinking of the M/T Solar I, which was transporting 2.19 million liters of bunker fuel owned by Petron Corp. from Bataan to Zamboanga.

Felimon Antiporda, Petron vice president for supply and operations, said the barges Ras and Martam and the light cargo tanker Harmony Diannes left Guimaras Friday and Saturday on a two- to three-day voyage to the wharf of cement manufacturer Holcim Philippines Inc. in Lugait, Misamis Oriental.

Two other ships contracted by Petron delivered more than 1500t of oil debris to the Holcim plant at the end of September, Antiporda said.

"There was a delay in removal of the debris from Guimaras because of the difficulty in getting barges. Permits, approval, papers have to be in order even if we get delayed," said Antiporda. The permit issued by the Environmental Management Bureau allows Holcim to transport 6000t of oil-contaminated debris.

Petron’s health, safety and environment manager Carlos Tan said their first option was to ship the debris to the much-nearer Apo Cement Corp. in Barangay Tinaan in Naga, Cebu but Apo was upgrading its operations to a new computerized system.