M.T. NU SHI NALINI
(FILE PHOTO - PRIOR TO EXPLOSION AND FIRE ON BOARD IN JUNE 2018)
SALVAGE OPERATIONS ON M.T. 'NU SHI NALINI' AT COCHIN / GOA
LOTS-India participated as a lead executor in the salvage operation involving the below-mentioned companies for their vertical expertise :-
- LOTS Shipping & Trading Pte, Singapore [the principal contractor]
- Master Shipyard Pvt. Limited, Kochi, India
- RELIABLE Marine & Logistics Services Pvt. Ltd, Mumbai, India
M.T. NU SHI NALINI (the Vessel), owned by Arya Ship Charterers Private Limited and managed by Elektrans Shipping Private Limited, is a double-hull oil & chemical tanker, built in 2012 by Jiangsu Longhai Shipbuilding Company Limited in Jiangsu, China. She is constructed with six (6) pairs of cargo tanks, port/starboard, and two (2) slop tanks port/starboard, all forward of the accommodation and engine room. Beneath the cargo tanks are six (6) pairs of double-bottom water ballast tanks and one forepeak tank.The Vessel is equipped to carry 190 TEU on deck.The vessel has a flush main deck with a raised forecastle forward and a raised poop deck aft.The heavy fuel tanks and diesel oil tanks are located in the engine room. There are also several other smaller tanks containing lubricating oils, waste oil or oily bilge water located in the engine room.Propulsive power is provided by a single STX 6S35MC-MK7 main engine, coupled to a fixed pitch propeller.
At the time of the incident, the Vessel was carrying approximately 2,488 tons of Naphtha from Karachi, Pakistan, bound for the port of Budge Budge, India. A total of 10,699.74 MT of Naphtha had been shipped on board the Vessel in Karachi, Pakistan under four (4) bills of lading dated 5th June 2018.Prior to the Incident, it was reported that there was a balance of about 2,488.707 MT of cargo remaining on board after the Vessel departed from her last discharge port of Mundra, India on 8th June 2018. On 13th June 2018, whilst at anchor off Kochi, India, an explosion occurred on board the Vessel. A fire, which extinguished quickly, broke out in the engine room, following the explosion.
A Lloyd's Open Form 2011 Salvage Agreement ("LOF") was signed between the Owners of the Vessel and Resolve Salvage & Fire ("RESOLVE") on 13th June 2018 with the SCOPIC Clause incorporated. Tugs and equipment were mobilized to the site of the incident and the crew were evacuated from the Vessel on 15th June 2018.The SCOPIC Clause was invoked on 17th June 2018 and the Vessel's P&I insurers, Navigators Protection & Indemnity, provided the initial SCOPIC security of USD 3 million in the form of a LoU on 19th June 2018.All requests to seek shelter or enter any Indian port to undertake the salvage operation were rejected. The plan has since been to tow the vessel to Trincomalee, Sri Lanka, where a permit had been obtained.However, due to a dispute concerning the provision of additional SCOPIC security, RESOLVE served a notice of termination of the LOF/SCOPIC on Owners on 22nd July 2018, eventually paving the way for LOTS-Singapore to step in and commence / complete the salvage operations thru LOTS-India.
The last reported bunker quantities before the incident were :Heavy fuel oil - 50 tons& diesel oil - 19 tons. The Vessel is currently lying at anchor approximately 12 miles south west of Kochi, India in position Lat 09° 49.805'N and Long 076° 04.185'E. She was without power and is currently unmanned. The tug OCEAN TANZANITE remained on site near the Vessel, to keep watch as well as to perform chase and guard duties.The water depth near the Vessel is some 30 meters.As cargo had migrated into the pump room and the engine room, the level of cargo in the pump room and the engine room is estimated to be 3 meters and 6 metersrespectively.The extent of the damage in the engine room following the explosion and fire was not known as the atmosphere remains hazardous for entry. Some cargo had leaked from the cargo tanks into the pump room and engine room - the pump room and the engine room contained approximately350m3 and 750m3 of Naphtha respectively.There was about 180m3 of cargo in the slop tanks which the crew reportedly recovered from the pump room prior to the Incident, in addition to accumulated tank washing water from previous tank cleaning operations.Thesalvors had to ensure that the cargo present in the pump room, engine room and the slop tanks, being contaminated, is not be mixed with the cargo in the cargo tanks.
When LOTS-India commenced work on the contract, though the vessel was stable she was in 'blackout' condition with no power on board. The scope of work of LOTS under the salvage contract comprised :
- (a) The anchor watch and vessel watch of M.T. Nu Shi Nalini
- (b) Discharge/ literage of good cargo to a suitable vessel or T11 containers and transport as per owner's instruction.
- (c) Discharge contaminated/ bad cargo and slope to a suitable barge/ T11 containers and transport as per owner's instruction.
- (d) Gas-freeing all cargo tanks, engine room, pump room and other suspected areas.
- (e) Cleaning& clearing of the engine room and pump room.
- (f) Assistance to the Owners of the Vessel, in damage identification and shifting of vessel.