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'Yolanda' runs Napocor power barge aground, triggering oil spill

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MANILA - A government-owned power barge spilled oil in Estancia, Iloilo after Typhoon 'Yolanda' swept it aground.

In a statement, National Power Corp (Napocor) said Power Barge (PB) 103 was dislocated from its mooring site by strong winds and a storm surge brought by the typhoon.

PB 103 sustained damage and as a result, an estimated 200,000 liters of bunker fuel leaked out of the plant's fuel tank into the water and coastline.

"[Napocor's] Environmental Management Department is closely coordinating with the Coast Guard for the necessary cleanup operations," the company said.

State-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp, the agency overseeing Napocor's operations, also tapped fuel supplier Petron Corp to help siphon off the remaining fuel in PB 103's fuel tank to prevent further leakage.

PB 103 is a semi-permanent floating structure composed of four power-generating units with an eight megawatt capacity each. The facility supplies electricity to the Visayas.

Napocor said it did not move the barge despite the warnings issued on the super typhoon because it is not intended to be moved around under short notice. The facility has been moored in Iloilo since 1999.

"Moving a barge is only done when the generating capacity is needed elsewhere and when there is an alternative mooring sire prepared specifically for the power barge to be relocated," it said.

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