Power plant operator exec disputes PCG’s figure on Sual oil spill damage
MANILA, Philippines—An executive from a power plant firm disputed Tuesday the Philippine Coast Guard’s estimate of the amount of oil spilled at a Pangasinan town.
In an e-mail sent to INQUIRER.net, Froilan Gregory H. Romualdez III, head of external affairs of TeaM Energy, denied that 4,000 liters of heavy fuel oil (HFO) spilled at Cabalitian Bay in Sual town, Pangasinan province.
The Philippine Coast Guard, in a statement released Tuesday, estimated the amount of fuel spilled into the area to be “about 20 drums (4,000 liters)”.
The Coast Guard quoted the figure from a certain Melissa Meneses, the Environmental Management Officer of the plant.
“According to Melissa Meneses, Environmental Management Officer of the said plant, the HFO seeped off from the damaged pipe at 2:23AM [Monday] causing an approximate 4,000 liters of oil to spread into the shorelines of Barangay Pangascasan,” the Coast Guard report read.
Romualdez said that “Four thousand liters of oil dumped into any body of water makes for an unmitigated environmental catastrophe of gargantuan proportions.”
“While there was indeed a ruptured pipe that that led to an oil leak, much of this was contained within the confines of our power facility. Admittedly, some of the oil found its way to the outfall of our plant and may have reached the sea but this is nowhere close to even a fraction of 4,000 liters,” Romualdez added.
The pipeline of the Sual power plant ruptured at 2:23 a.m. Monday.
Romualdez stated that by 3 a.m., their team has “successfully isolated” the rupture and the oil spill has been contained.
The executive also added that in an inspection conducted Tuesday in coordination with the local government of Saul town and the Coast Guard, TeaM Energy concluded that they have not found any trace of the said leak in the areas allegedly affected by the oil spill.
He noted that since the oil spill, “Most everything is normal in the waters outside our power plant.”
The Sual plant is the largest coal-powered plant in the country, which generates 1,218 MW of power.
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