Chennai

Large crude carrier to dock at port

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Vessel being brought on a trial basis, say officials

The Chennai Port will see berthing of a very large crude carrier (VLCC) on Friday, the first time for an Indian port in an enclosed harbour.

The vessel, MT New Diamond, with 1,60,079 gross registered tonnage (the ship’s internal volume), will be arriving from the Basra oil terminal in Iraq, carrying 1,33,719 tonnes of light crude oil on Thursday night. The vessel will be berthed in the oil docks of the Chennai Port on Friday.

Port officials said the vessel had been chartered by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) for Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), which will refine the crude into products and supply them to the oil company. CPCL has its refinery at Manali, from which petro products are supplied to the three State-run oil companies. Officials said it would be a challenge to handle such a huge vessel. High-powered tugs and pilots would be used to safely navigate and berth the vessel. At present, the Chennai Port handles Suezmax oil tankers (mid-sized cargo vessels), with a capacity of 1,50,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT).

Oil industry sources said the VLCC was being brought on a trial basis. Such vessels would be required when the new 42-inch diametre crude pipeline is commissioned. Work for the 17-km-long line, being laid at a cost of ₹250 crore, is nearing completion with the trial expected to be held in September.

“Since the new line will have a carrying capacity of around 5,000 KL per hour against 2,600 KL of the old pipeline, we need a vessel with a higher pumping capacity. Ordinarily, crude-carrying vessels are around 200 m in length, but this one would be around 320-m-long. Since the draft is not much here, it would supply crude on its way and enter the port,” explained an official.

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Printable version | Jan 23, 2020 4:16:42 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/chennai/large-crude-carrier-to-dock-at-port/article24804905.ece

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