Port Wings News Network:
It was a Red-Letter Day for Chennai Port on 31 August 2018, when the port became the first major port to handle a very large crude carrier (VLCC) inside the port’s wharf.
Make the day more memorable to the port management, Mr Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance, was present in the port along with Chairman P Raveendran to welcome the vessel.
It may be noted that Chennai Port has so far handled such VLCCs outside port basin due to vessel size and manoeuvring issues. Most of the ports in India use Single Buoy Mooring (SBM) or anchor the ships at a distance from the port to pump the crude by pipes.
Speaking to reporters, Mr Raveendran said that the ship was manoeuvred by a team led by the harbour master with two dock masters and a pilot in a complex operation. He also stated that the port’s deputy conservator was present at the Vessel Traffic Management System tower throughout the critical operations.
Mr Raveendran stated: “A year-long process including a thorough technical simulation study, training of port’s pilots and chartering of higher capacity specialised tugs from Kamarajar Port Ltd helped to achieve the feat. A thorough risk analysis was done with respect to safety, oil spill emergency and fire hazards.”
Raveendran also said that the shipment was on a trial, and expressed hope that the consignee would bring such large ships on a regular basis. It may be noted that CPCL could reduce freight by 20-30 per cent. In future shipments, the ship with full load will first offload the crude at Paradip where IOC has a plant, and after that at Chennai.
Pat From Union Minister
Congratulating the port management for the record performance, Mr Pon Radhakrishnan, Union Minister of State for Shipping and Finance, said, “It is a major achievement for the port in its 137-year history.”
Chennai Petroleum Corporation Limited (subsidiary of Indian Oil Corporation) chartered the ship with 1.33 lakh tonne of Basra Light Crude Oil for CPCL Manali Oil Refinery,