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Kolkata, Oct. 9

Paradip Port Trust (PPT) has chosen Resolve Marine Group, Florida, US, for undertaking the job of removing 975 tonnes of fuel oil from the sunken ship, Black Rose.

“The US firm, which has a branch in Singapore, is expected to start work within 10 days,” according to Mr K. Raghuramaiah, Chairman of PPT. The port authorities had earlier floated global tender for the job.

The operation would cost the port Rs 17.55 crore. “We’re not supposed to take upon our ourselves the responsibility of removing oil from the sunken ship; it is the responsibility of the owner of the ship but since the owner has not come forward, PPT has to shoulder it for protecting the sea, its marine life, the coast and the environment,” Mr Raghuramaiah observed.

Earlier, J. Enterprise & Dives, Visakhapatnam, was engaged to prevent minor leakage of oil from the ship by plugging the air vents, sounding pipes and other holes in the sunken ship.

“On our request, The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi, and the R&D unit of IndianOil have sent microbes, a kind of bacteria that live on oil, for cleaning up whatever little oil that spilled on the coast as well as in the water,” he said.

Meanwhile, PPT, as the Chairman pointed out, had initiated legal action against the owner/agent of the ship for not taking up the salvage operation. Since the vessel was not insured, the insurance company too was not coming forward in this regard, he added.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated October 10, 2009)
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