AsiaDry Cargo

Polaris sends vintage converted ore carrier for scrapping

South Korea’s Polaris Shipping has taken advantage of the current very strong demo rates to scrap one of its controversial very large ore carriers (VLOCs). The 1992-built Stellar Cosmo was one of a series of converted ore carriers to have been found to have defects in the wake of another Polaris VLOC sinking this March.

The Stellar Cosmo managed to fetch $423 per ldt, the second highest reported scrapping fee this week, just behing the MSC Mykonos boxship, which scored $425 per ldt on being sold to Indian breakers.

After the Stellar Daisy sank at the end of March in the South Atlantic with the loss of 22 lives, a series of defects were found on other Polaris VLOCs, forcing the Korean owner to employ two class societies to carry out a fleet-wide inspection. In recent months, Polaris has sent a number of its older VLOCs into layup with a view to scrapping.

The sale of the Stellar Cosmo leaves Polaris with 23 VLOCs on the water plus three newbuildings under construction. It also has capesizes and supramaxes in its current fleet, and, in diversification mode, a pair of aframax tankers set to deliver soon.

A poll carried on this site which closes this week shows that roughly two thirds of respondents believe converted ore carriers should be phased out. “Inherently unsafe when combining a 15-year-old single skin VLCC with new steel longitudinal structures,” one reader commented.

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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