Having 3,045 metric tons of the highly flammable and explosive chemical onboard
The operator of a chemical tanker detained at Merak Port following a mid-sea collision with a passenger ferry in September has asked the Norgas Cathinka to be released for urgently needed repairs, citing concerns about its highly volatile cargo of propylene.
According to Jakarta Globe, Singapore-based Norgas Carriers said in a statement released on Tuesday, that the Norgas Cathinka, was still carrying 3,045 metric tons of the highly flammable and explosive chemical.
“Detaining of the ship for an extended period of time will cause disruption in propylene handling and this may pose a threat to public safety,” a spokesman for the company stated.
“Any failure of the cargo tank safety relief valves will lead to a direct release of vapor to atmosphere and any failure of the cargo compressors will lead to the ship [being] incapable of liquefying her cargo. This will lead to increased tank pressures and the lifting of the relief valves.”
The Singapore-bound ship was ordered detained by Indonesian authorities after it collided with a passenger Ferry, the Bahuga Jaya, in the Sunda Strait on Sept. 26. Forty-three people on board the ferry are believed to have been killed when the ferry capsized after the accident.
The tanker’s Filipino captain and chief officer have been named suspects by the police for criminal recklessness. However, I.M. Skaugen, the Norwegian company that owns the tanker, has defended the actions of the crew in leaving the scene of the accident, saying that they needed to ensure there was no danger of the tanker sinking or gas leaking from its cargo due to the impact of the collision.
Source: Jakarta Globe
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