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Chennai port creates history by berthing giant ship

Sunday, 02 September 2018 | 20:00

Chennai port (ChPT) has became the first major port to handle a very large crude carrier (VLCC) inside the port basin. All other major ports, including Chennai, have so far handled such ships outside port basin considering the vessel size and difficulty in manoeuvring such ships inside the basin.

Some ports use Single Buoy Mooring or anchor the ships at a distance from the port to pump the crude by pipes.

Complex operation
The VLCC New Diamond with a length of 333 m; beam of 60 m; dead weight tonne of 2.99 lakh and maximum draft of 21.33 m was the largest ship to be handled by the port till date.

ChPT Chairman P Raveendran told newsperson that in a complex operation the ship was manoeuvred by a team led by the harbour master with two dock masters and a pilot. The port trust’s deputy conservator was present at the Vessel Traffic Management System tower throughout the critical operations.

A year-long effort was taken to bring the VLCC to the port. This involved a thorough technical simulation study, training of port’s pilots and chartering of higher capacity specialised tugs from Kamarajar Port Ltd. A thorough risk analysis was done with respect to safety, oil spill emergency and fire hazards, he said.

The ChPT achieved the feat with the berthing of VLCC New Diamond, which brought crude oil from Basra in Iraq. It was berthed at Bharathi Dock III this morning.

‘Major achievement’
“It is a major achievement for the port in its 137-year history,” said Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance.

Indian Oil Corporation -Chennai Petroleum Corporation chartered the ship with 1.33 lakh tonne of Basra Light Crude Oil for CPCL Manali Oil Refinery.

Raveendran said this shipment was on a trial, and hoped that the consignee would bring such large ships on a regular basis. CPCL could reduce freight by 20-30 per cent. In future shipments, the ship with full load will first offload the crude at Paradip where IOC has a plant, and after that at Chennai.
Source: The Hindu Business Line

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