GOP Discusses Proposed ‘STOLT VALOR’ Passage to Bahrain
Bahrain’s General Organisation of Sea Ports (GOP), chaired a meeting at the GOP’s offices, to discuss the proposed passage plan of the vessel ‘STOLT VALOR’ to Bahrain, a Liberian chemical tanker that caught fire in the early hours of 15th March, 2012.
The main item under discussion was the option of permitting the vessel to enter Bahrain’s territorial waters for repairs. The meeting included representatives from Bahrain’s Environmental Affairs, the Bahrain Coast Guard, Bahrain Customs, Marine Emergency Mutual Aid Centre (MEMAC), SMIT Salvage, Arab Shipbuilding and Repair Yard (ASRY), as well as representatives of the owners of „Stolt Valor‟, their insurance company and the vessel’s agent.
The “Stolt Valor” caught fire in mid-March North of Bahrain. The GOP has been monitoring the situation closely since the incident occurred, and has been in regular communication with all concerned parties coordinating efforts to resolve the situation. The fire, which broke out on board the vessel on the 15th of March, was completely extinguished by the 22nd of March, while the removal of all pollutants – both chemical cargo and fuel – was completed by the 29th of April, with no spillage during the transfer. The vessel is currently in stable condition at anchor with minimum stresses applied.
During the meeting, the representatives discussed the passage plan for shifting of the „Stolt Valor‟ from its current position to ASRY for the necessary repairs to be completed. The necessity of having a sound and secure route plan in place before the ship can be towed to Bahrain was also a primary focus of the meeting, with the need to ensure a direct route for the vessel, clear of all possible obstructions and outside of Bahrain’s main navigation channel. Additionally, the GOP requested an environmental (anti-pollution) management plan to be provided for the duration of the tanker’s passage to ASRY, with adequate risk mitigation measures highlighted and a confirmation from the Protection and Indemnity (P&I) Company that they are liable for any unlikely losses that may occur during the voyage.
Commenting on the meeting the Director General of the GOP Hassan Ali Al Majed said, “We take the issue of maritime safety and environmental protection very seriously, and have been working closely with all of the involved parties to ensure that the situation remains under control. Before proceedings with any plan of action, there must be agreement and full cooperation by everyone to ensure adequate technical, legal and environmental issues are managed properly. I am happy to say that all of the other parties have shown their dedication and commitment to seeing this issue resolved as quickly and safely as possible, and we look forward to implementing the agreed plan of action as soon as the details of that plan are finalised and approved accordingly”.
Source: GOP, June 5, 2012;