VLCC runs aground in China

A very large crude carrier (VLCC) that had previously been linked to alleged Iranian oil trades was reported to have run aground at the Chinese port of Qingdao. Mooring ropes were broken while the 2002-built, Panama-flagged Arzoyi (IMO: 9248473) was unloading at Qingdao Haiye Mercuria Terminal on March 21st, according to local port sources. As a result the petroleum loading arm snapped, causing oil to leak into the sea.

It was not clear if there was any spill as a result of the incident.

Local meteorological data shows weather conditions were normal at the time. An official from the Qingdao Port Group, the main operator of the port, said he was unaware of the situation as the involved terminal was not owned and run by the group.

The vessel looked to be without any P&I cover.

The vessel was named Front Serenade before it was sold to ADS shipping in 2018. It had also been known as the ADS Serenade.

Lloyd’s List Intelligence data showed that the 299,152 dwt tanker was owned by Dubai-based Marshal Shipping. No AIS on the vessel since March 16th, when the Arzoyi was near Qingdao.

The VLCC had left Yosuin South Korea on March 16th and arrived in Qingdao on March 20th. It currently remained static at the port’s Huangdao oil terminal.

It was accompanied by crude oil tanker Zhong You Hua Yuan 18 (IMO 9909950), which was thought likely to unload cargo from the VLCC to help refloat it.

Arzoyi was among a series of tankers identified from vessel-tracking data by United Against Nuclear Iran (UANI) as being engaged in at least nine ship-to-ship transfers of Iranian crude last year. The VLCC is without P&I cover, according to Lloyd’s List Intelligence. Its insurer was reported to have been West of England until January this year, but cover was cancelled.

2002-built, Panama-flagged, 156,916 gt Arzoyi is owned and managed by Vitava Shipping Inc of Panama City. ISM manager is Ship management Services of Hong Kong, China.

2020-built, China-flagged, 39,291 gt Xhong You Hua Yuan 18 is owned and managed by Zhongyou Huayuan Shipping of Bejing, China.