Oil removal from tanker to be completed by June 19
MANILA, Philippines — The removal of the remaining fuel oil from the sunken MT Princess Empress off Oriental Mindoro is expected to be completed on June 19, Rear Adm. Armand Balilo, spokesperson for the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), said on Saturday.
“Hopefully we can beat the target or we can beat the deadline by June 19 to end that oil spill,” Balilo told a news forum in Quezon City.
Balilo said the siphoning operations began on May 29 with the help of the Fire Opal, a diving support vessel from the Malayan Towage and Salvage Corp.
“There is a hose attached and being brought to the tanks inside the ship and [the oil] is being siphoned out, and hopefully, by June 19, the siphoning operations will be finished,” he added.
The PCG official said the oil could no longer spread to areas near the site of the sunken oil tanker as personnel used a catch can to contain and collect the seepage.“There’s a catch can where the leaking oil go and the oil gathered is also siphoned to the tank of the Fire Opal,” he said.
Balilo was referring to the specialized catch can, which was deployed to collect the remaining oil of the sunken tanker, which lies at a depth of 400 meters below sea level.