MT New Diamond embroils in oil leak issue

MT New Diamond embroils in oil leak issue

20 September 2020 07:11 pm

Laboratory test reports of the oil samples obtained from the location of the distressed Crude Oil Taker, MT New Diamond, were handed over to Attorney General Dappula De Livera, said Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) Chairperson Darshani Lahandapura.

She said the laboratory test reports were prepared by the Government Analyst’s Department.

Divers are continuing their operations to ascertain if there is any damage to the distressed MT New Diamond, an oil tanker sailing 38 nautical miles off Sangaman-kanda Point east of Sri Lanka which issued a distress signal on 3rd September 2020.

The distressed oil tanker in eastern seas was manned by 23 crew members including 5 Greeks and 18 Philippine nationals, one of them died in the fire.

Further, the tanker was transporting 270,000 metric tons of crude oil from the port of Mina Al Ahmadi in Kuwait to the Indian port of Paradip, when it faced this unfortunate event.

It is also reported that 1700 metric tons of diesel required for the use of the tanker is also stored onboard.

MT New Diamond is a 20-year old crude oil tanker that is 333 meters long and 60 meters wide, and sailed with a Japanese certificate and is registered in Panama.

Greece-based Porto Emporios Shipping Inc is the registered owner of the 20-year old Panama-flagged very large crude carrier, New Shipping Ltd is the manager of the vessel.

New Shipping Ltd appointed SMIT Singapore Pte Ltd to lead salvage operations.

Salvagers have already vacated the ruptured tank in the engine room and transferred the dirty water into the ballast section.

The Marine Environment Protection Authority (MEPA) said measures are in place to reduce the thickness of the oil slick located in the area of the distressed Crude Oil Tanker, the MT New Diamond. Dr. Terney Pradeep Kumara, the General Manager of MEPA said the oil slick is currently located in a 02 nautical mile area close to the distress Super Tanker.

Sri Lanka Air Force airdropped dispersant to minimize the potential impact on the marine environment and boats were dispatched to the area to divide the oil slick into portions, said the MEPA General Manager.

However, Dr. Terney Pradeep said as the oil slick is still in the ocean it can pose a negative impact on Sri Lanka’s marine environment.