'Panam Serena' chem tanker declared constructive total loss

Author: Neil Sinclair

2004/02/12

LONDON (CNI)--The chemical tanker Panam Serena, which exploded and caught fire last month at Porto Torres in Sardinia, Italy with the loss of two lives, has been declared a constructive total loss (CTL), CNI was told on Thursday.

A spokesman for the 10 048 deadweight tonne (dwt) vessel's owner, Bahamas-headquartered Clipper Group, said the hull underwriters had decided that it could not be economically repaired.

He estimated that the vessel, which is less than a year old, was worth around $17.5m (Euro14m) prior to the explosion. "But the underwriters have decided it's not worth repairing."

The Panam Serena has recently been towed from the tanker jetty where the explosion occurred to another berth at Porto Torres following removal of the remaining benzene and contaminated water from its tanks.  

Tanker operations on the jetty, which was seriously damaged in the fire, are not expected to resume normally until the second half of March.

Italian chemicals company Polimeri Europa has been forced to shut its phenol/acetone plant at Porto Torres because it has been unable to import benzene feedstock or export product.

A source at Polimeri confirmed to CNI that the plant was not expected to resume production until the third week in March. The plant has a phenol capacity of approximately 181 000 tonne/year and an acetone capacity of 110 000 tonne/year.