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Chemical tanker collision off US Gulf Coast causes minor damage

ICIS News : 20-Feb-13 22:06

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Two inbound chemical tankers collided in the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, causing some internal damage to one of the vessels.

The Chem Sea, a 385-foot (117 metre) tanker, and the 557-foot Bow Kiso collided about 70 miles (113km) south of Galveston, Texas, at approximately 04:30 Houston time (10:30 GMT). Both ships were headed to Houston, Texas.

The US Coast Guard launched aircraft for flyovers after the incident and saw no visible damage to the vessels or pollution.

The Bow Kiso suffered a fuel leak in the engine room, but the crew was able to patch the leak and pump the remainder of the fuel into an auxiliary tank, the Coast Guard said.

The Chem Sea docked at Bolivar Roads Channel near Galveston and the Bow Kiso is en route there, said petty officer 2nd class Stephen Lehman. Both ships headed to Houston on their own power, Lehman said.

“We didn’t see anything that would cause them to be kept out of port,” Lehman added.

The Coast Guard did not return calls immediately about the cargo on both vessels.

The Bow Kiso left Rotterdam in mid-January for Wilmington, Delaware, with 10,000 tonnes of paraxylene (PX), according to the ICIS shipping report.

There was no information about the Chem Sea’s cargo. A vessel tracking service said its last known port was New Orleans, Louisiana.

Lehman said he did not know why the ships collided. The Coast Guard will board both vessels to conduct damage assessments and investigate what caused the accident.

There was no chemical spillage from the collision.

The Coast Guard said the Bow Kiso was carrying benzene, phenol, acetone and pygas.

The collision had no immediate impact on the aromatics or solvents markets during the day.

Current benzene prices were at $4.68-4.73/gal (€3.51-3.55/gal) FOB (free on board), no change from Tuesday.

($1 = €0.75)

By Lane Kelley
+1 713 525 2653

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