Grounded VLCC in Java Sea Could be Refloated Thursday

euronav tanker
File photo. Credit Euronav

Lightening operations for a laden very large crude oil carrier (VLCC) which ran aground on soft mud in the Java Sea last month were expected to kick off Monday as part of the ongoing effort to refloat the ship.

Euronav Ship Mamangement, which manages the 299,446 dwt, Belgian-flagged MT Alex, said over the weekend that preparations had been made to begin the lightening operation on Monday and the ship could be refloated as soon as Thursday (May 4).

Euronav has contracted SMIT Singapore and PT Samudera Indonesia to carry out the salvage. The refloating operating will include lightening of the vessel by ship to ship transfer of its crude oil cargo. 

Monitoring of the ship has confirmed no breach of the hull, cargo containment, or mechanical failures. Various inspections and surveys including an assessment of the ship’s hull damage by the classification have also been completed.

The proposed refloating plan was granted the neccessary approvals and permits by Indonesian authorities on April 27.

The MT Alex was underway to China with a cargo of crude oil when it ran aground in soft mud on April 12 in the waters between the Borneo and Sumatra.