01 September 2018 - 18:42
The Chennai Port saw berthing of a very large crude carrier (VLCC) on Friday, the first time for an Indian port in an enclosed harbour. The vessel, MT New Diamond, with 1,60,079 gross registered tonnage (the ship’s internal volume), arrived from the Basra oil terminal in Iraq, carrying 1,33,719 tonnes of light crude oil on Thursday night. The vessel berthed in the oil docks of the Chennai Port on Friday. Port officials said the vessel had been chartered by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) for Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL), which will refine the crude into products and supply them to the oil company. CPCL has its refinery at Manali, from which petro products are supplied to the three State-run oil companies. Officials said it would be a challenge to handle such a huge vessel. High-powered tugs and pilots would be used to safely navigate and berth the vessel. At present, the Chennai Port handles Suezmax oil tankers (mid-sized cargo vessels), with a capacity of 1,50,000 dead weight tonnage (DWT).