Vale mobilises response to possible oil spill from grounded VLOC

The Marshall Islands-flagged VLOC Stellar Banner after it had run aground off northern Brazil on February 24, 2020 (Photo: Vale)

Brazil mining company Vale confirms that it has mobilised assets in response to the grounding of a very large ore carrier (VLOC) in Brazilian waters on February 24.

The incident began after the Marshall Islands-flagged Stellar Banner suffered damage in the bow after leaving the Ponta da Madeira Maritime Terminal in northern Brazil on the night of February 24.

As a precautionary measure, all 20 crewmembers were safely evacuated and the captain deliberately grounded the 300,000DWT vessel about 100 kilometres off the coast of São Luís.

Two oil spill recovery vessels (OSRVs) mobilised with support from Petrobras arrived at the site of the grounding on Saturday, February 29. The VLOC has also been preventively surrounded by a 200-metre barrier made up of buoys for containing oil within the sea.

Vale clarified that the fuel tanks on Stellar Banner have not yet suffered any leaks.

The company said that it will continue to provide technical and operational support and cooperate actively with local maritime authorities and other relevant entities in response to the incident.

Stellar Banner, built in 2016, is owned and operated by South Korean company Polaris Shipping.

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