Grounded VLOC Stellar Banner (IMO 9726803) will be sunk 150 km off the coast of Maranhão, Brazil. The very large ore carrier, which is 340-metres long, will be scuttled because it had suffered too much hull damage to be restored to commercial use. She was declared a total loss following a structural inspection carried out by representatives of the ship’s classification society, with support from divers and a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
The salvage team has already begun preparations for the sinking, with the remaining oily residues, floating objects and contaminants on board being removed.
The International Tanker Owners Pollution Federation (ITOPF) was monitoring the activities to ensure good practices related to environmental issues involved in the dumping process.
AHTS Bear and OSRV Àgua of the Brazilian Navy, OSV Normand Installe’ and patrol ship Guanabara remained on site to monitor the process, in case of environmental impact.
The Brazilian Navy said that the vessel had to be sunk in deep water and on June 3rd Stellar Banner was towed to deeper waters.
She ran aground on February 24th near San Marcos, while carrying iron ore from Brazil to China, departing from Vale’s terminal in Maranhão after a manoeuvre in the vicinity of buoy 1 in the Bay of Sao Marcos. The vessel listed heavily, but did not capsize.
2016-built, Marshall Islands-flagged, 151,596 gt Stellar Banner is owned by VP-12 Shipping Inc care of manager Polaris Shipping Co Ltd of Seoul, South Korea. It is entered with Britannia on behalf of VP-12 Shipping Inc.