Samsung Heavy to Resume Ops at Geoje

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  • As Vopak, AltaGas to Invest in Canada’s Propane Terminal

South Korean shipbuilder Samsung Heavy Industries was cleared to partially restart construction works at its Geoje yard, less than a week after a fatal crane incident occurred at the site, according to Yonhap News Agency.

Following the crane collision on May 1, when a structure fell from one of the cranes taking the lives of six workers and injuring over 20 more workers at the yard, the country’s Ministry of Employment and Labor ordered the shipbuilder to halt all operations at the shipyard.

SHI now received an approval to resume the operations, after an on-site inspection showed that risk factors at some of the work places have been resolved, Yonhap cited the shipbuilder.

Last week, the South Korean police officials raided a number of SHI’s offices, collecting workbooks and manuals on safety regulations and education.

Up to 30 investigators were reportedly sent to collect the materials in order to analyse and investigate any potential negligence which could have led to the crane incident.

At the time of the crane collision, the shipyard was finishing the construction of an oil platform for a French energy company.

In the meantime, tank storage provider Royal Vopak and Canadian energy infrastructure company AltaGas have entered into a joint venture to invest in the development of the first propane export terminal off the west coast of Canada.

The Ridley Island Propane Export Terminal (RIPET) is to be designed to ship 1.2 million tonnes of propane per annum, with around 96,000 cubic meters of storage capacity. The facility is expected to be commissioned in the first quarter of 2019.

Vopak, which will take a 30 percent interest in RIPET, said that its investment “is underpinned by long-term customer contracts and is fully aligned with Vopak’s long-term strategy where storage and handling of gas has been earmarked as one of the strategic focus areas.”

The company added that Canada has a structural surplus in gas and natural gas liquids for which Asia is an important market to export these energy products.

The RIPET site is near Prince Rupert, British Columbia, on a section of land leased by Ridley Terminals Inc. (RTI) from the Prince Rupert Port Authority. Vopak said that the site has a locational advantage given very short shipping distances to markets in Asia, notably a 10-day shipping time compared to 25-days from the US Gulf Coast.

“Propane from British Columbia and Alberta will be transported to the facility using 50-60 rail cars a day through the existing CN rail network. The extensive land and water rights held by RTI and its world class marine jetty enables the efficient loading of very large gas carriers that can access key global markets without limitation,” Vopak said.

World Maritime News

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