Australia bans LNG carrier after breakdown blocked terminal

The Australian Maritime Safety Agency (AMSA) has banned LNG tanker CESI Qingdao (IMO 9672832) after an incident resulted in the vessel blocking Australia Pacific LNG for more than a week.

The terminal is one of the country’s largest LNG export terminals and the incident disrupted the operations of ConocoPhillips Australia, Origin Energy, and the Australia Pacific’s terminal.

The tankship lost power on November 22nd and three LNG cargoes were reported to have been delayed as a result. Eventually LNG tanker Abuja II (IMO 9690169) departed the facility on December 2nd, and the Mu Lan (IMO 9878876) left on December 5th.

The ban will run for 180 days until late in June 2024. The CESI Qingdao (IMO 9672832) was a regular caller at the terminal as part of a dedicated export operation. By the end of November with the vessel stuck at the terminal for nearly a week, upstream producer Origin reported it had been forced to tune down production as several shipments were missed because the stranded vessel was blocking the terminal.

AMSA reported that it worked with the master and operator while extensive repairs to the ship were carried out. It said that four generators required repairs, but AMSA said that only one of them was repaired after being completely rebuilt under the supervision of the engine manufacturers.

It was finally agreed that the laden vessel could be towed off the terminal and placed in an anchorage while repairs were being completed.

The LNG carrier operates under charter to Chinese energy company Sinopec. It remained for three more weeks in the anchorage before finally being towed back to China for repairs, where it is due to arrive on January 14th.

“The response of the master and ship managers throughout the repair process necessitated stronger compliance action from AMSA,” the authority said. The order cites a “contravention of AMSA Detention Notice,” as being the reason for the long ban.

2017-built, Hong Kong-flagged, 112,397 gt CESI Qingdao is owned by China Energy Hope LNG care of China Energy Ship Management (CESM) of Hong Kong, China. It is entered with Gard AS on behalf of China Energy Hope LNG Shipping Co. As of December 25th it had been en route from Gladstone, Australia (departed December 1st) to Dongjiakou, China, ETA January 14th.