Oil Tanker Hits Dock in Ploče, Fuel Distribution in Dalmatia in Question?

Total Croatia News

Due to the damage, other tankers cannot deliver oil and derivates.

Due to an accident of an STI Poplar ship sailing under the flag of Marshall Islands in the port of Ploče, the distribution of oil and oil derivates in Dalmatia is in question, reports Jutarnji List on August 18, 2018.

The tanker, which contained about 27,000 cubic metres of oil, hit the dock destroying part of it, as well as the nearby oil and gas discharging equipment which sank. The part of the dock which has survived has been damaged and is not currently in use.

According to experts, the damage is estimated in millions of euro. They say that a major mistake must have occurred during the manoeuvring of the ship, whether by a pilot or a captain. An investigation will be carried by the Port Authority and the inspectorate of the Ministry of Maritime Affairs.

Since the dock is destroyed, other ships are in the waiting mode, as they cannot approach the dock and unload the cargo. Among them is a large ship of the Petrol oil company, which is waiting on the open seas. A number of other ships with oil and oil derivatives are expected to arrive soon at Ploče as well.

With tourist season at its peak, there is a high demand for oil not only in Croatia but also in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro, so warehouses are empty and it is not known when that will change. The distribution is expected to be taken over by facilities in Solin and Rijeka.

The damages are measured in millions, which will ultimately, according to international law, have to be compensated by the STI Poplar shipping company. Still, the final decision on compensation will be made by inspectors and maritime law experts.

The ship itself has also been heavily damaged and has been pulled to an anchorage. Fortunately, it was not pierced since that would mean that the oil would spill into the sea, bringing about an environmental catastrophe.

“The court has banned the ship from leaving Ploče until it pays the money as the compensation for damages,” explained Tomislav Batur, the director of the Ploče Port Authority. On the other hand, the Port Authority has banned the use of the dock until everything is repaired, said Batur, pointing out that experts are examining the damage.

However, this could take several months. “At this point, we cannot say exactly when the rehabilitation process will end,” said Batur. “Such things happen everywhere. The shipping company is obliged to compensate for damages because when a ship hits the shore, the responsibility is with the ship and the shipping company, which is regulated by international insurance companies,” said Batur.

It is possible that the accident will lead to fuel distribution problems in Croatia, especially in Dalmatia.

Translated from Jutarnji List (reported by Stanislav Soldo).


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