Top Trader heads to Colombia

Bulk carrier Top Trader, whose load of Venezuelan petroleum coke caught fire while it was docked at Jose terminal, Puerto La Cruz, three weeks ago, set sail late on Tuesday for Colombia.

Exports from the terminal can now resume. The Petrosanfelix terminal. where the vessel was on fire, accounts for more than a third of the around 150,000 tonnes of petcoke that Venezuela hopes to export each month.

Top Trader, chartered by US Koch Industries, had 22,000 mt on board. It was unclear if the burning coke, which was reported in three holds, caused any damage to the vessel.

PDVSA refused to allow the ship to discharge the cargo, so its insurer and the ship broker authorized the vessel to sail to another port to unload. Its original destination had been Europe, but the Colombian Maritime Authority cleared the move to its own waters after requesting that the vessel’s manager provide a contingency plan for navigation and discharge, sources said.