THE diesel power plant in Oriental Mindoro allegedly responsible for the oil spill that has damaged several hectares of farmlands assured residents affected by the incident that it was “fast-tracking” its clean-up operations.
“We would like to assure the residents of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro and the general public that we are fast-tracking the clean-up of the oil that accidentally leaked out of the storage tank in our 15-megawatt (MW) power plant last November 6,” the DMCI Power Corp. said in an emailed statement to The Manila Times on Thursday night.
“Our Calapan employees, together with more than 300 locally-hired workers, are conducting round-the-clock clean-up activities of the affected areas,” DMCI said.
The power firm said that due to the bad weather, the clean-up drive may take from 10 to 15 days.
DMCI said that after more than 9,000 man-hours spent on “booming, skimming, surveying and clean-up operations”, 90 drums of oily water and 260 sacks of oil-contaminated materials have been recovered and would be handed over to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) for “hauling and treatment.”
DMCI said it has cleaned up “100 percent” of the affected bodies of water and was now focused on the rice fields.
Contrary to reports that eight hectares of farmlands were affected by the oil spill, DMCI claimed that the leak spread to only 2.5 hectares of rice fields and one hectare of grassland.
DMCI said it was coordinating with DENR–Environmental Management Bureau Region 4B MIMAROPA office, the Philippine Coast Guard, Calapan City Health and Sanitation Department, Public Safety Department and various LGUs to mitigate the impact of the oil spill.
“We would like to reiterate that we are taking this accident very seriously and acting expeditiously, and are continuing our investigation and root cause analysis of the matter,” DMCI said.
The power corp. is reviewing its plant operation protocols to prevent similar incidents in the future.
The accident happened last November 6 in Calapan City due to a faulty alarm system that resulted in an overflow of 800 liters of fuel. DMCI said it has replaced the defective part.
The power plant was described by local officials as “world-class,” according to DMCI in its official website.
The plant, inaugurated on February 26, 2015, partially supplies the power requirements of its off-taker, Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative, the local distribution utility, for 20 years. KAROL JOSEF LUCENA