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Tuesday, October 16, 2018


INCIDENT ALERT – Tanker accidents in Novorossiysk

Referring to article in Weekly NEWS No. 09 INTERTANKO has now received details about the reported accidents 26 February 2001.

It should be noted that as from 14 February 2001 only pilots employed by the port authority are allowed to provide their services in Novorossiysk.  Hence, professional pilots with years of experience in the port are banned from piloting.

During mooring operation at berth No. 3 tanker (A) hit tanker (B) loading crude at berth No. 2 causing damage to (B).  However, this time the accident did not cause any personal injuries nor oil spill.  Tanker (A) returned to anchorage for further investigation.

The same day another tanker was due to moor at berth No. 7.  The weather was reported to be moderate.  Nevertheless, after about 4 hours of unsuccessful attempts to berth the tanker, the tanker returned to anchorage.

These accidents, together with those of last year, suggest that the experience and training of the pilots employed by the authorities may not be up to standard.

INTERTANKO again recommends that members with vessels calling at Novorossiysk take necessary precautionary actions, and provide INTERTANKO with a copy of master’s report if required, which can be mailed to Capt. Steinar Kr. Digre, or send by email

INCIDENT ALERT – Huangdao Oil Terminal, Quingdao

Further to an article in our Weekly NEWS No. 07 based on  earlier incidents, members are advised to consider conducting a risk assessment in order to evaluate whether or not to continue accepting cargoes for this terminal.

The full story of what happened to a modern VLCC in August 2000 can be found here.

Source: Protected

Tug charges at SRC and Esso SBMs, Singapore

It has been brought to our attention that particularly VLCCs discharging at the captioned SBMs have since November 2000 experienced sudden tide changes causing problems to the discharge operation. In fact the SBMs are reported to have sustained damage on three occasions. One vessel damaged the Esso SBM and caused some 1,000 mt of oil pollution, where after that SBM has been used only for part discharge of VLCCs, i.e. for completion of discharge after prior lightering. In the other two cases the neighbouring SRC SBM was lifted from its turntable. On all occasions the vessel had to interrupt its discharge and de-berth after which repairs had to be made to the SBM.

It is thought that the unusual behaviour of the current around the vicinity of the SRC and Esso SBMs is caused by the reclamation work being carried out adjacent to the two SBMs.  This work is the extension of the Jurong Island Project for the future VLCC berths replacing the two SBMs, and is expected to be ready by end February 2002. At this moment two small islands are growing every day and will eventually join up with the reclaimed land by October 2001.  It is likely that the unusual tidal current is caused by these two islands which cause the flood tide to flow westward along Sinki Fairway and north of these two islands to converge near the SRC SBM, thereby creating an unusually strong impact on the VLCC tied to the SBM causing the ship to yaw and fall heavily back onto its hawser. The Esso SBM has a similar problem but theirs occurs during ebb tide when the current is flowing eastwards.

After these three incidents all vessels berthed at SRC SBM require 2 tugs of 40 tonnes bollard pull for ancillary service to stand by at the stern of the VLCC throughout the entire cargo operation and to assist when unberthing, which was not required previously. 

When the flood tide current exceeds 1.2 knots the vessel has to vacate the SBM and anchor to await a calmer tide to re-berth.  Reports say that VLCC’s have been known to shift up to four times and thus spend up to 4.5 days to discharge the entire cargo.  Total port charges have in such cases been reported to reach as high as SGD220,000.

In light of the above we ask our members to note that the unpredictable and potentially very high tug expenses are not adequately compensated in the Worldscale basic rates as they relate to a temporary problem and only appears to affect VLCCs. We therefore strongly recommend our members to seek suitable protection against any extra tug cost in their future charter parties. For further information please contact Gunnar Knudsen (

Source: Protected