AsiaDry Cargo

Call to inspect all converted ore carriers

The families of the missing crew of the sunken Stellar Daisy have called for all converted ore carriers in South Korea to be inspected. Moreover, some are suggesting that every converted ore carrier in the world gets a check up, with one family member telling Splash today: “It would be better for all converted ore carriers in the world to be inspected for the sake of marine safety.”

Just two men out of 24 are thought to have survived when the 1993-built Stellar Daisy sank in the South Atlantic at the end of March. The ship, owned by South Korea’s Polaris Shipping, started out as a VLCC before being converted in China eight years ago.

There are 28 converted ore carriers in South Korea, of which Polaris owns 18. Defects have been found on other Polaris ships in the wake of the Stellar Daisy sinking, including on the Stellar Unicorn, Stellar Queen and Solar Ember. With Polaris’s key customer, Brazilian miner Vale, taking a tougher line on this vintage tonnage and Polaris carrying out a fleet-wide inspection since the end of March, a couple of its older vessels have headed to Labuan in Malaysia for layup with scrapping likely on the cards.

An ongoing survey carried on this site has found that 64% of respondents to date believe converted very large ore carriers should be scrapped.


Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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