A chemical tanker, believed to be containing naphtha-a flammable liquid hydrocarbon mixture, is awaiting customs clearance to discharge the consignment at berth number 8 of Mormugao Port Trust (MPT). Presently, the vessel is stationed off breakwater berth at Mormugao Harbour.
A highly-placed source disclosed that the vessel, loaded with 3000 metric tonnes of naphtha, arrived at Mormugao port a couple of days back and is awaiting customs clearance to discharge the consignment.
The vessel has arrived from off Cochin port following a fire incident onboard the vessel that claimed life of a crew member in June 2018. The explosion was reported in the engine room at the lower platform while starting machinery when the vessel was safely anchored off Cochin port for some technical repairs.
It is learnt that there is litigation between the vessel owner and agent and due to which bank has taken over the vessel. The vessel was supposed to go for repair works out of India, but due to presence of hazardous cargo in it, the owner is facing some issues.
When contacted in this regard, Mormugao port authorities disclosed that at present the vessel is berthed off breakwater berth at Mormugao Harbour. “The vessel is awaiting customs clearance to discharge the naphtha,” disclosed sources at MPT.
It was disclosed that the port authorities and other agencies will have to adopt a lot of precautionary measures while unloading the naphtha from the vessel.
It may be recalled that unloading of naphtha from vessels at the dedicated berth for petroleum products was stopped by the concerned company based at Sancoale plateau after a massive fire broke out at Varunapuri-Mangor Hill in August 2011.