Cracks were found on another Polaris VLOC, SOLAR EMBER (ex – Su Oh), on May 5, when vessel was in South Atlantic, en route from Brazil to China with cargo of ore. Not clear yet where exactly cracks did emerge, it’s said only, that cracks are of some 2.5 centimeter size. As of May 18, SOLAR EMBER was in Indian Ocean, south of Diego Garcia, under way to Qingdao, China, ETA June 6. Polaris said some temporary measures were taken to prevent cracks increasing or leaking water, vessel’s condition will be thoroughly checked after offloading 170000 tons of ore in China.
SOLAR EMBER said to be built in Japan as a bulk carrier, she is not converted from tanker, so maybe it’s time to ease witch hunt on converted VLOCs, and look around for other possible explanations of cracks development? Maybe to look at Vale, or VLOCs safety in general?
VLOC SOLAR EMBER, IMO 9146596, dwt 171081, built 1997, flag Panama, manager Polaris Shipping, Co., Korea.