Early on 15 March, the products chemical tanker ‘Stolt Valor’ suffered a midships fire and explosion whilst proceeding in the Arabian Gulf. SMIT Salvage was awarded a Lloyd’s Open Form by her owners and organised a large and decisive response. SMIT mobilised five tugs, various (fire-fighting and pumping ) equipment and a strong salvage team, including a marine chemist.
This was a very challenging task given the area she was drifting in and the prevailing weather/seatstate. With the fires extinguished, the salvage team set to work to prepare this vessel for a ship-to-ship transfer (STS) of remaining cargo to a lightering tanker. This open ocean STS from the severely damaged vessel took place from March to April and involved the discharge of two chemical parcels, MBTE and IBAL. Due to the damage in the side an STS in tandem with manifolds connected via a 500 meter long chemical transfer hose was undertaken. During this operation Port of Refuge was applied for throughout the Arabian Gulf and after a lengthy process supported by a dedicated team.
After complying with the necessary requirements the ‘Stolt Valor’ was safely redelivered back to her owners on 30 July 2012 in the port of Bahrain which allowed entry as port of refuge.