Greenpeace demands a full and transparent investigation on the Sual Power Station oil spill

Press release - October 30, 2014
Manila, Philippines— Greenpeace laments the unfortunate incident of the oil spill that occurred at the Sual Power Station earlier this week.

Amalie Obusan, Country Director of Greenpeace Philippines said:

“Greenpeace demands that a full and transparent investigation into the incident be launched immediately by the proper authorities. Based on the Philippine Coast Guard’s (PCG) incident report, it seems that there was an intent on the side of Team Energy, owner of the Sual Power Station, to conceal the incident from the authorities because they failed to notify the PCG immediately. We question Team Energy’s non-compliance and non-submission of an oil spill contingency plan to the PCG. Moreover, appropriate penalties should be meted out to the power plant operators to ensure that a thorough clean-up of the affected area be done immediately. In the same vein, just and immediate compensation should be given by the power plant operators to fisherfolk and other coastal communities whose livelihood and employment were severely affected.

“This oil spill reminds us once again how polluting energy sources like coal-fired power plants threaten both the environment and the livelihoods of people depending on Cabalitian Bay. The estimated 4,000 liters of heavy fuel oil that have spilled into the sea that came from the coal plant is deplorable. It is a testament to coal’s clear and present danger to communities and ecosystems that play host to this dirty source of energy.

“The risks of such an accident are ever present – there is long-term and possibly permanent damage to the rich marine and coastal ecosystems which provide food and livelihood to communities. The visible pollution can be cleaned up to a certain extent, but the long-term toxic effects of the oil pollution can kill mangroves and corals, and continued exposure to oil and its residues may affect the health of the communities living in the area.

“The oil spill further compounds the problem of coal plants being built along coastlines and fishing grounds. It can be recalled that just a few weeks ago, the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center issued a warning on the red tide outbreak that hit the coastal waters of Alaminos City in late September. It is believed that the outbreak may have come from “seeds” of harmful algae accidentally introduced to the Lingayen Gulf by ships delivering coal to the power plant in Sual.  According to the warning, based on the chronology of red tide outbreaks in the country, areas with coal-fired power plants were the most vulnerable.

“These accidents would not have happened if the Philippine government was true to its word of prioritizing renewable energy over fossil fuel-based energy sources. The long-term solution to prevent such oil spills to happen in the future is to stop the construction of new coal-fired power plants and to prioritize renewable energy sources to meet the country’s growing power demand.”

For more information:

Amalie Obusan
Country Director
Greenpeace Philippines
Mobile: 0917-5216804  Email:

Therese Salvador
Media Campaigner
Greenpeace Philippines
Mobile: 0917-8228734  Email: