The Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) recently took proactive measures to subside a chemical leak that occurred from a barrel. The barrel was onboard the MV Seaspan Lahore in the Colombo Port.
The vessel sailed from the Mundra port in India to Colombo and was carrying containers that had oodles of nitric acid. The containers were assigned for discharge at an African port after a layover in Colombo.
Officials detected the leak six hours after the vessel set sail from Mundra. The ship belongs to M/S Hapag-Lloyd. The captain of the ship immediately notified the local agents M/S Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Pvt Ltd. about the barrel leak. The agents, in turn, notified the Harbour Master of SLPA and the container terminal – SAGT.
After the intimidation, a thorough inspection of the storage plan, the barrels and the commodities in the adjacent containers in the ship were conducted. The Chairman and the Harbour Master of SLPA carried out this inspection.
After that, a decision was taken to moor the ship and also expel and rework the order barrels of Nitric Acid and shift to a fresh container for the transport thereon. The ship had 650 barrels of nitric acid.
Capt. Nihal Keppetipola, the Chairman of SLPA, informed media persons that if the reworking would be delayed by a single more day, there would be a heavy fire aboard the vessel. He also stated that the bottom of the container had entirely perished. The SLPA, with its skilled professionals, could efficiently handle the situations as it successfully carried out similar incidents in the past.
The reworking of the containers was conducted safely with the portfire brigade standing by and with the ardent support of SLPA officials and crew members, officials from SAGT, officials from Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Pvt Ltd., and professionals from Hamka Shipping who specialize in similar operations.
The SLPA Chairman further said that such incidents could only be controlled if the ship’s local agent informs the SLPA well in advance.
After the successful operation and recovery, Capt. Nihal Keppetipola thanked everyone and appreciated efforts put on by SLPA’s Harbour Master Capt. Nirmal Silva and his staff, Mr Romesh David –CEO of SAGT, and Lalith Witanachchi – CEO, Hapag-Lloyd Lanka Pvt Ltd., in preventing a possible catastrophe.
Reference: Sri Lanka Ports Authority