Sunday, April 08, 2007

Supertanker crossover

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This is not something one gets to see too often, two giant supertankers passing each other so close to shore. These two massive vessels were a few kilometeres off the coast of Vizhinjam, and were captured from the terrace of the nearby Leela Kempinski, Kovalam Beach (without a telephoto lens)!

The ship on the right appears to be empty and on ballast as it heads to the Persian Gulf to pickup crude, while the other ship is low in the water and presumably full of crude as it heads in the opposite direction.

No Indian port has the depth to accomodate these giants. Only Single Buoy Moorings (SBMs) can handle them. These are already in operation along the coast of Gujarat. In Cochin, for example, the proposed SBM needs to be almost 20 Km offshore to provide enough draft to allow these ships to come in fully loaded. Here, they cruise comfortable maybe 8-10 kilometres from the beachline.

This is not a new revelation, hope the powers that be pay more attention now that the Pre-bid Investors' Meet for Vizhinjam is scheduled on April 17.

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