The MV Stellar Banner, a bulk carrier owned and operated by South Korean company Polaris, is currently in stable condition after an earlier grounding, said the Brazilian Navy which held its 8th meeting to discuss salvage operations on Wednesday (4 March).
The meeting involved the Captain of Maranhão port, Minister of the Environment, Vale S.A, Brazilian Institute of the Environment and Renewable Natural Resources (IBAMA), Federal Police, Environmental Management of Porto do Itaqui, State Secretariat for the Environment, and various maritime agents.
“The situation remains stable, without any indication of leakage. Locking the bilge covers and plugging the sighs of the fuel tanks was carried out, isolating the entry of rain and sea water into the ship,” it said.
“The Hydroceanographic Vessel Garnier Sampaio and the Ocean Support Vessel Iguatemi are still at the incident site, collecting water samples and controlling maritime traffic in the region.”
About 3,500 metric tonnes (mt) of fuel oil and 140 mt of marine gas oil (MGO) was reportedly within the 2016-built bulk carrier when it ran aground about 100 kilometers off the coast of São Luís on Monday night (24 February).
The 300,663 dwt bulk carrier was transporting about 284,000 mt of iron and on the way out of the access channel of Ponta da Madeira maritime terminal when it grounded.
“Despite having run aground, overall analysis indicates that the weight of the vessel is well distributed on the sand bank without specific points of stress on the hull, thus the vessel remains stable with its own power,” said Polaris Shipping in a statement on Tuesday.
“Thanks to the orchestrated effort from multiple parties, including Vale, the company is now seeking to accelerate arrival of a bunker barge at the site to offload remaining fuel oil in the tanks,” it added.
“The detailed de-bunkering plan was submitted to the Navy for review and the operation will be completed in the coming weeks, weather permitting.”
Photo credit: Vale
Published: 5 March, 2020
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