Salvage team readying to empty SSL Kolkata of fuel

A salvage team is expected to start emptying the fuel tanks of SSL Kolkata (IMO 9346574) almost two months after she ran aground after a fire and broke up in the Bay of Bengal. SSL Kolkata ran aground off the Sunderbans coast after catching fire on June 13th, while she was en route to Calcutta from Krishnapatnam port in Andhra Pradesh.

Bad weather during the monsoon season has hampered the operation, but now the salvors said that it was possible to get the team on board the wreck, which has sunk three to four meters down into the muddy seabed since it ran aground.

It has subsequently been found that some of the containers on board contained magnesium, which exploded after contact with water. There were 210 tons of bunkers on board. Including the fuel for the generator and other fuels, the combined oil amount was close to 400 tonnes, which will now be drained.

The ship has four tanks. The equipment that will drain out the fuel has been fitted to the vessel around two metres under the water surface. The salvors were scheduled to start extracting the fuel on Saturday August 11th.

Weather permitting, the entire fuel component will be extracted this week by the Smit Borneo.

The salvage vessel took around 20 days to reach SSL Kolkata. 19km from the Sunderbans coast. Besides the crane barge the tugs Lewek Harrier and Sea Bison were involved in the operation in the Bay of Bengal.

2006-built, India-flagged, 9,956 gt SSL Kolkata is owned and managed by Shreyas Shipping & Logistics of Mumbai, India. ISM manager is TW Ship Management Pvt Ltd of Mumbai, India. It is entered with North of England Club on behalf of Shreyas Shipping & Logistics Ltd.