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Rush to prevent bunker spill from grounded VLOC Stellar Banner

There is a rush to prevent a possible bunker spill from the grounded very large ore carrier Stellar Banner off Brazil.

Charterer Brazilian mining Vale said it had it dispatched two oil spill recovery vessels from national oil company Petrobras to the VLOC on 27 February which were expected to reach the stricken vessel on 29 February. Some 333 litres of oil were reported to have leaked from the vessel as the result of its grounding.

The Brazilian Navy said on Sunday, 1 February that the situation was stable and that monitoring of the vessel and overflights showed no sign oil leaks. The vessel has close to 4,000 tonnes of bunker fuel onboard.

The vessel, owned by Polaris Shipping in South Korea, is stranded almost 100 km off the coast of São Luís (Maranhão). Ardent Global have been appointed as salvors.

The 2016 built, 300,660 dwt VLOC Stellar Banner suffered damage to its bow after leaving port in the northern Brazilian state of Maranhao on 24 February, its crew of 20 were safely evacuated.

The vessel was bound for the Chinese city of Qingdao with 275,000 tonnes of iron ore, according to Refinitiv data.

It is not the first casualty involved a Polaris Shipping owned VLOC chartered to Vale, the converted Stellar Daisy sank on 31 March 2017 with the loss of 22 lives.

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