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Salvors ready plans for grounded Polaris VLOC off Brazil

Salvage tugs are in place trying to keep the grounded Stellar Banner very large ore carrier (VLOC from rocking too much in the waves for fear the ship’s hull will breach and its 4,000 tons of bunker oil will spill out. 

The Polaris Shipping giant bulker ran into trouble 100 km into its journey from Brazil to China a week ago. Salvors from Ardent Global are formulating plans to empty the fully laden ship’s bunker fuel, refloat the ship and tow it back to the terminal it had just left to offload the more than 290,000 tons of iron ore it is carrying. 

There appears to be a dispute as to whether the ship has already started to leak oil. 

A flyover on Friday morning  by an aircraft equipped with sensors for oil detection identified a thin oil stain with a radius of approximately 830 m in the area where the ship was stranded. Polaris officials maintain however that the oil observed was a residue of the so called dead oil on deck, and not a leak from the fuel tanks. 

Oil prevention equipment has been brought on site. 

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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