The Brazilian authorities are responding to an incident involving the Liberian-flagged oil tanker Minerva Rita, which suffered hull damage after running aground in a critical area along the Amazon River.
ccording to international news, the incident is a result of the drought conditions in the Guajará Canal. No casualties were reported, and measures are being taken to assess potential environmental damage. The vessel’s tanks have been inspected, and their contents are luckily reported to be undamaged.
To remind, the Amazon region is under pressure from the El Nino weather phenomenon, with the volume of rainfall in the northern Amazon below the historical average and river levels falling near record levels.
As Gard P&I Club had explained, the drought has had a significant impact on the costs of pilotage services in the region. During the dry period, the companies responsible for the pilots introduced an additional fee known as the “Drought Tax”, that can reach up to BRL 800,000 (approx. USD 160,000), according to the Federation of Industries of the State of Amazonas (Fieam).
Fortunately, the Amazon Refinery (REAM) is cooperating with the Brazilian Institute for the Environment (Ibama) to provide information on the incident, loaded products, damage causes, and preventive measures, news reports highlight.