THE Shen Neng 1 is to be brought to Gladstone for the next stage of the salvage operation.
The bulk coal carrier will be brought into Gladstone to unload coal and potentially undergo repairs before being towed overseas, maritime officials have announced.
An entry to Gladstone on Thursday is probable provided weather conditions are suitable.
Maritime Safety Queensland General Manager Patrick Quirk said salvage experts had indicated the Shen Neng 1 required repairs and some cargo to be discharged prior to being towed directly to a foreign port.
“Because it was so damaged in the grounding the ship probably needs to have a significant amount of coal unloaded and potentially have some temporary repairs undertaken before it leaves Australian waters,” Mr Quirk said.
“But make no mistake, while it remains in our waters we’ll be taking every possible precaution to ensure we take care of the ship and minimise the risk of further oil discharge.”
Gladstone Ports Corporation CEO Leo Zussino was yesterday unable to comment on the move to bring the carrier here because of his position on the Australian Maritime Safety Authority.
He said, however, all relevant authorities were putting plans in place to ensure the Gladstone public was well informed of the planned exercise.
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