Photo: Stellar Banner; Image Courtesy: Brazilian Navy

Stellar Banner refloated after over three months

Giant very large ore carrier Stellar Banner, owned by Polaris Shipping from Korea, has been refloated after being grounded for over three months off the coast of São Luís, in the state of Maranhão, Brazil.

“The owner confirms the ship has been re-floated. The owner is liaising closely with the authorities and surveyor. A full assessment of the condition of the vessel will be carried out,” Polaris Shipping told Offshore Energy-Green Marine in a statement.

The ship has been reportedly towed to deeper waters for inspection.

To remind, the 2016-built ship ran aground and developed a heavy starboard list on February 24, 2020. The ship experienced bow damage that led to its grounding. The 20 crew members were evacuated from the vessel and there were no reported injuries to the crew.

Prior to the ship’s refloating, salvage teams, led by Ardent and OceanPact, removed approximately 3,500 tons of fuel oil to a receiving vessel in order to prevent an oil spill. The operation was completed at the end of March.

Salvors proceeded with the unloading of the ship’s cargo comprising approximately 295 kt of Vale’s iron ore, enabling the ship to right by 12 degrees from its list and some of its submerged decks to emerge from the water.

Brazilian miner company Vale said earlier that it had been supporting the shipowner with technical-operational and preventive measures, to remove the fuel and cargo from the ship, and prevent a major environmental disaster.

The company revealed that it spent close to $ 1 million supporting the shipowner of the Stellar Banner vessel.

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Vale has become the first major player in the mining sector to commit to the goal of becoming carbon neutral by 2050.

The company has set a goal of reducing 33% of carbon emissions over the next 10 years and will invest at least $ 2 billion in renewable energy projects, energy efficiency, and electrification of assets.

The intention is also to entice its suppliers and customers to commit to the Paris Agreement in order to limit the rise in global temperatures to 2 Celsius until 2100.

To reach the 33% reduction target, Vale is launching pilot projects including an electrically-powered locomotive, use of biofuels in the pelletizing operations, and testing of electrical equipment in underground mining operations.