MV Cheshire Starts Unloading Cargo in Spain

Cargo discharging operations from the stricken bulk carrier MV Cheshire started on October 20 at the Spanish port of Motril, the ship’s owner Bibby Line informed.

The unloading process is estimated to take approximately 15 days, with the length of time needed due to the stevedores only working in daylight hours and the cargo sampling process adding to the discharge time, the company said.

MV Cheshire experienced elevated temperatures in its cargo holds 4 and 5 on August 12. Its cargo, NPK fertilizer, decomposed whilst the ship was south of Gran Canaria, sailing from Norway to Thailand.

The 56,597 dwt bulker has been alongside at the port in the south of Spain since September 13 undertaking preparations to commence the discharge operation, with a focus on health, safety and the environment.

“There has been obvious interest in the state of the cargo by environmentalists and public officials and visits have been made to the vessel for inspection. The environmental report, which includes useful comments by the cargo manufacturers, has been issued and accepted by the port authority,” Bibby Line said.

The company added that Resolve, who are assisting with the discharge, has revised the original plans to take into account the environmental report.

Bibby Line earlier said that any plans for repairing the vessel “will wait until the cargo has been discharged and a more thorough inspection can take place.”