Tanker carrying 2MMbbl of Kuwaiti oil ablaze off Sri Lankan coast

04 Septembre, 2020, 03:08 | Auteur: Anatole Charbonneau
  • VLCC Carrying 2 Million Barrels of Oil in Trouble Off Sri Lanka

Understood fire was thought to be under control, but blazed out again, and judging from photo, is spreading from engine room to superstructure. At the time of writing, one crew member is said to be injured, another missing, while the captain is on-board with another crew member.

Reports say there were 23 crew members on board, comprising 5 Greek nationals and 18 Philippine nationals.

Sri Lanka officials said Navy and CG ships and boats responded to fire, but non are seen yet in the vicinity of drifting NEW DIAMOND.

"The Sri Lanka air force has scrambled an observation aircraft and the navy has sent in two ships to help with rescue efforts", Commander Ranjith Rajapaksa told Reuters.

The New Diamond, a very large crude carrier (VLCC) chartered by Indian Oil Corp (IOC), was fully loaded with the equivalent of about 2 million barrels of oil, Refinitiv data showed.

The different figures of the two spokesmen could not immediately be reconciled.

The vessel is carrying 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from Mina Al Ahmadi, Kuwait to Paradip, India, the Navy reported.

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Dharshani Lahandapura, Chair of the Marine Environmental Protection Authority (MEPA) Sri Lanka told EconomyNext that if the cargo and the diesel onboard the vessel were to leak out it would have disastrous consequences.

"No double-hull VLCC has spilt oil to date, but (it) depends on the damage to the ship", he added.

Three Indian Coast Guard vessels, as well as Dornier Aircraft, have also been deployed to join the Sri Lankan Navy to fight the fire.

Thursday's incident happened just over a month after a state of "environmental emergency" was triggered by the spill of about 1,000 tonnes of fuel oil from a Japanese bulk carrier, MV Wakashio, when it ran aground on a reef in Mauritius.

Twenty of the 23 New Diamond crew have been rescued, with two of the remaining three accounted for, while one is missing, de Silva said. Earlier, sources had put the vessel's location off Colombo, the capital of the Indian Ocean nation.

There was no immediate comment from IOC, Reliance Industries and Kuwait Petroleum Corp.

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