Fire-damaged chemical tanker 'Stolt Valor' arrives at ASRY's Bahrain yard, with neighbouring countries declining refuge
The 2004-built, 25,268dwt Liberian-flag chemical tanker Stolt Valor, has arrived at Bahrain’s Arab Shipbuilding & Repair Yard (ASRY) for repairs, following a fire and explosion in one of her cargo tanks while transiting the Arabian Gulf on 15 March this year.
Stolt Valor arrived at ASRY in convoy with the three large tugs: 1,797grt Anchor Handling Tug/Supply vessel Caribbean Fos, owned by Greece’s Five Oceans Salvage; the 450grt tug Pacific Typhoon, owned by Swire Pacific Ltd and the 1,290grt Anchor Handling Tug/Supply vessel Lamnalco Mesite, owned by Smit Lamnalco Ltd, Cyprus.
Stolt Valor, owned and operated by Stolt Tankers NV/Stolt-Nielsen Ltd, suffered a cargo tank fire and explosion on 15 March 2012 while 48 nautical miles south east of Farsi Island, Iran, while carrying 13,000 tonnes of MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether), which had been loaded at Al Jubail in Saudi Arabia.
ASRY’s initial works will include a safety inspection prior to any further investigation to ensure the vessel has no outstanding safety concerns. She will then be transferred alongside for a detailed investigation to be carried out in conjunction with the owners to determine the best course of action going forward.
Commenting on the job, ASRY’s Chief Executive Chris Potter said: ‘Most importantly we are committed to protecting the safety, security and the environment of Arabian waters, to which Stolt Valor posed a risk. Therefore, as the most experienced shipyard in the region, we see it as our duty to bring our 35 years of experience to bear on this challenging repair, where other yards were not willing.’