Goa looks to Singapore firms to salvage naphtha tanker

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Panaji, Nov 5 (IANS) The Goa government is looking to Singapore-based marine engineering companies to salvage an unmanned tanker which ran aground during a storm last month off the Panaji.

The tanker ‘Nu Shi Nalini’ still contains a cargo of around 2,500 tons of naphtha, apart from heavy oil and diesel in its tanks and the opposition has said, that the vessel is an “ecological disaster” in the making.

Speaking to reporters in Panaji on Tuesday, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said, that the state government has sought quotations from two Singapore-based salvaging companies for assistance.

“We have now decided that we will bring on board professional people, so that there is no risk in taking the naphtha out of the ship. We have got quotations from three people and two of them have already surveyed the ship. The two companies are from Singapore,” the Chief Minister said.

Sawant also ruled out the risk of any naphtha leakage.

“The ship has already mounted the shelf and is not facing any further risk. The naphtha tanks are inerted and the nitrogen levels are up to standard. We have taken care of that,” Sawant also said, claiming that the risk of leakage was non existent.

He also said that the process of salvaging the cargo from the ship would take “around a fortnight”.

“The cost of salvaging the tanker will have to be borne by the owner of the vessel. The government will not spend a single paisa,” Sawant also said.

The unmanned tanker ran aground last Saturday (October 26) on the rocky shelf off Panaji, after it was caught in a storm off the state, and has not moved position since.

A multi-agency operation, involving the Indian Navy, Indian Coast Guard, Director General Shipping, the Mormugao Port Trust and other state agencies, was subsequently launched to transfer the naphtha and nearly 50 tons of oil and 19 tons of diesel to other vessels.

The operation is, however, delayed due to stormy weather conditions and onsite mishaps, which includes the accidental drowning of a hydraulic pump and generation which was being ferried to the crash site.

–IANS

maya/rt

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