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Philippine Navy adds first oil tanker to fleet

The Philippine Navy headquarters in Manila. STAR/File

MANILA, Philippines — The Philippine Navy commissioned its first oil tanker BRP Lake Caliraya (AF-81) over the weekend to facilitate vessels' refueling.

Vice Admiral Jesus Millan, the Navy's flag officer-in-command, said with the activation of the oil tanker, the Philippine fleet now has a credible petroleum, oil and lubricant delivery platform.

The platform is seen to "extend the operational range and scope of our ships especially those operating in the high seas and the EEZ (exclusive economic zone)," Millan said in a statement Monday.

The BRP Lake Caliraya was commissioned at Naval Station Pascual Ledesma, Fort San Felipe, Cavite City on Saturday.

A state news report noted that the vessel was a donation from the Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC) carrying the name M/T Lapu-Lapu.

With the new motor tanker, fuel will be made available at naval installations and vessels will no longer have to travel farther inland for replenishment. Moreover, it has depot-to-ship, ship-to-depot, and ship-to-ship refueling capabilities.

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Problems on fuel contamination will also be addressed with the new oil tanker.

The oil tanker was formerly one of the largest vessels in the fleet of the oil transport corporation. Built in Zhejiang Zhongxing Shipyard in Taizhou, China in November 2007, the AF-81 was commissioned by the PNOC in January 2008. - Camille Diola

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